HInckley AFC 1-4 Atherstone Town

Hinckley AFC fell to home defeat by Atherstone Town courtesy of Mitch Thomson’s hat-trick at St John’s Park.
With the sides level on points going into the game there was much to play for in this local derby but Thomson, the difference between the sides, put the Adders two up by the break before adding a third shortly after it.
Luke Richards gave Hinckley hope before he was sent off, allowing Luke Shorthouse to round off a comfortable Adders success.
Missing Steve Hart through injury, Richard Lavery made one change with Carl O’Neill returning in goal allowing Richard Munday to return to the defence.
But despite being without their top scorer, it was Hinckley who threatened first. They thought they’d taken an early lead but for the linesman’s flag. James Jepson’s wide free kick wasn’t dealt with by the visiting defence and nestled in the far corner, only for the touch home to be ruled out for offside.
The Adders took full advantage of that, taking the lead themselves on the quarter hour mark. It was a goal of Hinckley’s own doing, as O’Neill scuffed a kick straight into the path of Thomson, who couldn’t believe his luck as he slid home the opener.
The same player added a second 15 minutes later, beating O’Neill one-on-one after being sent through on goal by Shorthouse as Hinckley couldn’t believe the goal was’t ruled out for offside.
Jepson’s set pieces continued to threaten for Hinckley, and James Williams fired over at the far post from a corner, but AFC were unable to score before the break as the Adders took their two-goal lead into the break.
And any hope Hinckley had of salvaging something from the game was slashed three minutes after half time. Harry Walker-Donovan got to the byline, and pulled back for Thomson to bundle home from close range.
O’Neill had to be alert to deny Thomson shortly afterwards as he was set up by Adam Bilic, before Hinckley came close to pulling one back as Kai Tonge’s cross was cleared against an Atherstone defender and looped onto the roof of the net.
Hinckley did pull one back just before the hour mark. Jepson’s corner was knocked down, and from the resulting scramble Richards fired home from close range to give Hinckley a lifeline.
But the lifeline was dashed again immediately. Adders ‘keeper James Beeson raced to grab the ball to prevent Hinckley rushing the ball back to the centre spot, resulting in a scuffle with Richards as he tried to retrieve the ball from the net. From that, only the Hinckley goalscorer was punished as he saw red and Hinckley were down to ten.
They still pushed men forward seeking a route back into the game, but were caught on the break with 12 minutes to play. Atherstone drove forward through Thomson, who squared for Shorthouse to restore the three goal lead as he found the back of the net via a significant deflection that left O’Neill beaten and condemned Hinckley to defeat.
Hinckley: Carl O’Neill, James Williams, Mitchell Tomlinson (Jack Sutherland 60), James Jepson, Richard Munday, Richard Lavery, Kai Tonge, Josh Willis, Luke Richards, Josh Burniston, Nick Goold. Subs not used: Jonathan Bukasa, Chad Timson, Matt Jelfs
Goal: Luke Richards (57)
Atherstone: James Beeson, Danny Harris, Kyron Green, Nathan Haines, Darren Eggleton, Scott Goodby, Harry Walker-Donovan, Kyle Baxter, Luke Shorthouse, Mitch Thomson (Liam Kirton 81), Adam Bilic. Subs not used: Jamie Elkes, Christian Mullins, Alex Naughton, Ryan Quinn
Goals: Mitch Thomson (16, 30, 48), Luke Shorthouse (78)
Attendance: 162

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