Our new opponents: the county rivals

Between now and the start of the season, we’ll introduce our new opponents in this season’s United Counties League Division One.

Today, the focus is on our county rivals – the other Leicestershire sides to feature in the division this coming campaign.

There are one or two familiar faces and some who we’ve never faced before…

Aylestone Park

Home colours: Red

Last season: 5th in East Midlands Counties League (11 matches, 19 points). Park were slow out of the blocks last season but by the end of it were plundering goals galore. They won just one of their first six, but once October arrived they had two 7-1 wins, a 9-0 win and a 10-0 win before the curtailment. They also won the UCL’s covid cup, netting 33 goals in just six games.

Ground: Saffron Lane, Leicester, LE2 6TG

Distance from Hinckley: 13.2 miles

We’ll meet: 20th November (h), 22nd January (a)

Previous meetings: P3, W2, L1. Three meetings, in three different cup competitions. The first was a 4-2 win in December 2014 on AFC’s run to the Jelson Homes Senior Cup final, before two in two months in 2017 that yielded a win apiece for both sides – Hinckley’s in the FA Cup 4-1, Aylestone’s in the Leicestershire Challenge Cup 3-0.

Barrow Town

Home colours: Red and black

Last season: 12th in East Midlands Counties League (12 matches, 13 points). Another side who struggled towards the start of last season but picked up towards its curtailment. Town lost their first five in the league but then won four of their last seven before the lockdown. They’ve made several signings from higher levels in recent weeks.

Ground: Riverside Park, Barrow Road, Quorn, LE12 8XJ

Distance from Hinckley: 24.1 miles

We’ll meet: 18th September (a), 29th January (h)

Previous meetings: None

Birstall United

Home colours: White and navy

Last season: 14th in United Counties League Division One (14 matches, 13 points). Their last six games before curtailment yielded three wins and three defeats, highlighting a shortened campaign of ups and downs with impressive wins mixed in with heavy defeats.

Ground: Meadow Lane, Birstall, LE4 4FN

Distance from Hinckley: 20.6 miles

We’ll meet: 31st August (a), 3rd January (h)

Previous meetings: P1 W1. A Jelson Homes Senior Cup semi-final in 2016 that AFC won on their way to lifting the trophy. Marco Adaggio scored a brace.

Holwell Sports

Home colours: Yellow and green

Last season: 12th in United Counties League Division One (11 matches, 14 points). Like Birstall, Holwell’s was a campaign of some fine wins mixed with defeats. Wins over Raunds Town (7-0) and Irchester United (5-0) highlighted their strengths but they also lost 6-1 to Melton Town – though beside that, most of their defeats were fairly narrow.

Ground: Welby Road, Asfordby Hill, Melton Mowbray, LE14 3RD

Distance from Hinckley: 33.1 miles

We’ll meet: 16th October (h), 5th February (a)

Previous meetings: None


Home colours: Red and white

Last season: 16th in East Midlands Counties League Division One (12 matches, 9 points). Ingles started strongly with a pair of wins but only picked up one further victory after that. But they were rarely out of games – only Hucknall Town, Heanor Town and Clifton All Whites beat them by more than two goals.

Ground: Dovecote Stadium, Butthole Lane, Shepshed, LE12 9BN (share with Shepshed Dynamo)

Distance from Hinckley: 23.9 miles

We’ll meet: 9th November (h), 8th January (a)

Previous meetings: None

Kirby Muxloe

Home colours: Blue

Last season: 5th in Midland League Division One (12 matches, 24 points). Kirby and Hinckley had identical league records at the curtailment of the Midland League season last term, AFC ahead only by virtue of a better goal difference. Their campaign included a win at league leaders Lichfield – they also beat Uttoxeter.

Ground: Ratby Lane, Kirby Muxloe, LE9 2AQ

Distance from Hinckley: 12.2 miles

We’ll meet: 28th December (a), 18th April (h)

Previous meetings: P2 W1 D1. The two sides didn’t meet last season before the curtailment meaning 2019-20 is the only time we’ve gone head-to-head. AFC won an action-packed home game 5-3, the reverse fixture couldn’t have been much different – a stale goalless draw.

Lutterworth Athletic

Home colours: Green and white hoops

Last season: 13th in United Counties League Division One (11 matches, 13 points). Lutterworth would have been one of the neutral’s picks in the division last season, three 3-3 draws and one 4-4 draw packed into an entertaining couple of months at Hall Lane.

Ground: Hall Park, Hall Lane, Bitteswell, LE17 4LN

Distance from Hinckley: 12.7 miles

We’ll meet: 17th August (h), 5th October (a)

Previous meetings: None

Saffron Dynamo

Home colours: Red and black

Last season: 8th in United Counties League Division One (12 matches, 17 points). Dynamo started brightly and won three of their first four games, but then just two of their last eight. They only failed to score twice in the league. Just ten miles away, they’re the closest of our new local rivals and our first look at UCL football on 10th August.

Ground: King Park, Cambridge Road, Cosby, LE9 1SJ

Distance from Hinckley: 10.1 miles

We’ll meet: 10th August (h), 2nd November (a)

Previous meetings: None

St Andrews

Home colours: Black and white

Last season: 3rd in United Counties League Division One (11 matches, 27 points). Their season was book ended with defeats, but in between those first and last games they won a stunning nine on the bounce. They conceded just four goals in that time, plundering 38 at the other end.

Ground: Canal Street, Aylestone, LE2 8LA

Distance from Hinckley: 13 miles

We’ll meet: 21st September (a), 18th December (h)

Previous meetings: The only two meetings came in the two-legged Polymac Packaging League Cup semi-final in 2017. Andrews edged the first game 4-3 before winning the second leg 4-1 – but AFC ended in the final after St Andrews played an ineligible player.

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