Match Preview: OJM Black Country (h)

Midland League Division One’s best attack faces its best defence when Hinckley AFC welcome OJM Black Country to Kirkby Road this weekend.

After a fortnight without a game since beating Coventry Copsewood, Hinckley return to home action looking to maintain their lead at the top.

To do that, they’ll need to beat an in-form OJM side and one who will provide a stern test to AFC’s free-flowing forward line.

The opposition

A stuttering start to the season with four defeats in their first six games gave last season’s play-off semi-finalists OJM Black Country an uphill task to make the play-offs.

But their form since the end of August has been excellent, losing just once since the Autumn began to propel themselves up the table and in with a chance of finishing in the top five.

They sit ninth, with 42 points from 23 games, but have played the fewest games of any side in the division. Only Hinckley have lost fewer matches all season.

Key to that run has been their back line – just 25 goals conceded which gives them comfortable the best goals against record in the league. They have also scored the fewest of anyone in the top half, but Taylor Homer has 13 of their 44 league goals this term.

Previous meetings

That one defeat in OJM’s  last 16 league games came against Hinckley, when Lewis Rankin and Matt Dawson scored to give Hinckley a 2-0 win at the Triplex. AFC also won both meetings last season, but the match at Kirkby Road was won only in the dying seconds courtesy of a Tom Weale penalty in a 3-2 victory.

From the dressing room

“It will be a tough game. We said going to their place that it would be our toughest test yet and we passed it with flying colours. The remit that day was to try and stay in it for as long as possible and take our chances when we got them. We’re expecting to see a better version of them on our 3G pitch. It’s been difficult for them as they’ve had a lot of games called off so the season has been stop-start and that’s tough for them. We’re expecting a tough game against a good side and a team that will push us to try and win a league.”

Courtney Hunter-Belford

Key information

The match will be our latest foodbank collection day, with all food donated going to Hinckley Community Fridge to support those in need. More information can be found by clicking here.

Adults: £6

Concessions: £4

Under 16s: £2 (FREE with HAFC Junior membership card)

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