Hinckley AFC 2-3 Bolehall Swifts
A captivating game of football, but another defeat by the odd goal for Hinckley AFC as they let a two goal lead at half time slip against Bolehall Swifts.
Tom Lapworth had only been on the pitch for two minutes when he won the match for the visitors, racing in behind the tired Hinckley defence in stoppage time and curling a wonderful shot into Sam Arnold’s top corner.
This came after Hinckley had taken a 2-0 lead thanks to first half goals from Luke Richards and Matt Gardner, but after the break Bolehall were clinical, and clawed their way back into the game through Tyler Brownlees, before levelling through Adam Goodby.
Hinckley made two changes to the side that were beaten 1-0 by the same opposition on Saturday. Matt Gardner came in for his first start in place of Mark Bellingham, while Luke Richards replaced James Bennett-Tindall.
And the returning striker almost made an instant impact. Only three minutes had passed when his shot was deflected off Scott Goodby and cleared off the line.
Then, JJ Melligan’s far post cross was nodded back across goal, and Alex Morris headed over from close range as Hinckley started the game on the front foot.
Bolehall’s first chance of the match came nine minutes in, when Dave Yonwin dragged wide after neat build up play.
After nineteen minutes, Hinckley took the lead. Richards’ powerful run down the left channel ended with his low strike across goal beating Paul Hathaway and bouncing in off the post.
The visitors should have equalised on the half hour, when Yonwin found a pocket of space on the edge of the box but struck wide.
And they were made to pay when Hinckley doubled their lead ten minutes before half time. Richards was involved again, crossing for Gardner to finish coolly.
Hinckley went into the interval two goals to the good, but Bolehall’s reaction immediately after half time caught them off guard. Two minutes into the second half, substitute Tyler Brownlees broke free and drilled through Sam Arnold’s legs to give the visitors belief.
Dave Boal missed a glorious chance to equalise when he missed a free header eight yards out, but Bolehall’s dominance of the early part of the second half saw them equalise after 65 minutes. Arnold’s clearance struck the back of Adam Goodby, closing him down, and looped into the top corner to level the scores.
That seemed to liven Hinckley up again, and after Arnold saved well from Yonwin, Hinckley pressed hard for a third as the game entered its latter stages.
Bellingham, on as a second half substitute, beat Hathaway to the ball, but his touch sent him wide. From the touchline, he found Melligan, whose shot from twelve yards was saved by the recovering Bolehall ‘keeper.
From the resulting corner, Bolehall failed to clear, and Dominic Smith headed narrowly wide from Avun Jephcott’s delivery.
With seven minutes remaining, Bellingham’s free kick was glanced goalwards by Justin Nisbett, but with the ball heading into the corner Hathaway pulled off a stunning save.
When Hathaway misjudged a high ball into his area, the ball fell to Bellingham, but with his back to goal his effort was deflected wide.
And Hinckley were left heartbroken two minutes into stoppage time when Lapworth broke away and sent the visiting dugout into raptures.
Hinckley: Sam Arnold, Bekir Halil (Mitchell Tomlinson 11), Isaac Cooper, Dominic Smith, Alex Morris, Avun Jephcott, JJ Melligan, Rob Millington, Matt Gardner (Mark Bellingham 66), Justin Nisbett, Luke Richards (Tyrone Clarke-O’Connell 80). Subs not used: Asa Wright, James Bennett-Tindall.
Goals: Luke Richards (19), Matt Gardner (34)
Bolehall: Paul Hathaway, Scott Goodby, Jamie Abbott, Joseph Obi, Ryan Millerchip, Adam Goodby, Michael Pollard, Chris Cowley (Tyler Brownless 23), Dave Yonwin, Lee Smith (Tom Lapworth 89), Dave Boal (Chris Sturridge-Packer 80). Sub not used: Dave Haywood.
Goals: Tyler Brownlees (46), Adam Goodby (65), Tom Lapworth (90+2).