Walsall Wood 1-3 Hinckley AFC
The FA Cup has cast its magic again as Hinckley AFC overturned a divisional disadvantage to overcome Walsall Wood in their Extra Preliminary Round replay.
It was all to play for after Saturday’s 0-0 draw, and AFC were on course for the next round at half time, when they led courtesy of Nathan Walker.
But the Midland League Premier Division hosts responded well after the break, and grabbed a deserved leveller on the hour through substitute Daniel Holgate.
The game looked destined for extra time and penalties, but Justin Nisbett and Marco Adaggio scored in the last five minutes to send Hinckley through to the next round.
Hinckley made two changes to the side that started the original fixture on Saturday, with Dom Smith making his first appearance of the season in place of the injured Liam Smith, and Deqwon Ebanks replacing Sean Williams.
It was the home side who had the first chance of the game, Drew Aiton shooting wide with just three minutes on the clock, before Hinckley started to gain the ascendancy.
First, Luke Richards beat his man but could only shoot wide of the far post, before Javia Roberts cut inside from the right but saw his shot comfortably saved by Mariusz Kisiel.
Richards had another chance shortly afterwards: Hinckley broke forward through Walker, and after Adaggio’s shot was blocked Richards blazed over from a tight angle.
There was then a five minute delay as Wood’s Charlton Davies received treatment in the middle of the park for what appeared to be a nasty injury.
Following their early spell on top, Hinckley took the lead shortly after the half hour mark with their first FA Cup goal. Roberts cut in from the left and squared the ball to Walker for the midfielder to fire a superb twenty yard shot into the top corner which gave Kisiel no chance.
Hinckley carried their lead into the interval, but it wasn’t without a heart in mouth moment as Harry Harris’ low shot struck the base of Sam Arnold’s right hand post, and then Corey Currithers skied his shot over the bar after AFC failed to clear.
The second half saw Hinckley put under sustained spells of pressure by the home side, and the tie was all level again after sixty minutes as Holgate shot through a crowd of players into the bottom corner.
Hinckley missed a golden chance to re-take the lead when Ebanks poked wide after being set up by Walker, before Smith made a fine recovery to deny Holgate from an acute angle.
Currithers then curled one narrowly wide as Wood looked to have the better of the game heading into the closing stages, but Hinckley dug deep and fought back.
They took the lead for the second time in the match with five minutes remaining, as Adaggio’s shot was blocked and deflected into the path of Nisbett, who tapped under Kisiel from close range.
Adaggio could have sealed it a minute later but tried to twist past Anthony Juxon once too many times after working a good position, but he made up for that in stoppage time.
The striker started the attack by pressuring Kisiel into putting the ball out for a throw in, from which Roberts received the ball. After a sublime piece of skill in which he beat two men with one move, the diminutive winger squared for Adaggio to convert from ten yards and send the large Hinckley faithful into raptures behind the goal.
The goal came in the first of five minutes stoppage time, and Hinckley held on to claim their first FA Cup win. They will now travel to league rivals Bromsgrove Sporting in the Preliminary Round on Saturday 29th August.
Walsall Wood: Mariusz Kisiel, Shane O’Reilly, Grant Beckett, Anthony Juxon, Luke Wright, Charlton Davies (Daniel Holgate 18), Leon Taylor (Toumani Sidibe 75), Harry Harris, Joey Butlin, Drew Aiton, Corey Currithers. Subs not used: Sam Price, Ben Taylor, Ben Bennett, Jay Payne, Dale Faultless.
Goal: Daniel Holgate (60)
Hinckley: Sam Arnold, Mitchell Tomlinson, Alex Morris, Dom Smith, Jean Kalenda, Neil MacKenzie, Javia Roberts (Ryan Taylor 93), Nathan Walker, Deqwon Ebanks (Jamie Newton 85), Marco Adaggio, Luke Richards (Justin Nisbett 70). Subs not used: Oli Basham, Jack Hartopp.
Goals: Nathan Walker (33), Justin Nisbett (85), Marco Adaggio (91)