Coventry Copsewood 0-1 Hinckley AFC
A moment of quality from Justin Nisbett two minutes from time separated Coventry Copsewood and Hinckley AFC on a damp afternoon at Allard Way.
With the game starting at a 0-0 draw, Nisbett capitalised when Ross Clarke’s corner wasn’t fully dealt with by the home defence.
As the ball came down from Andy Wilson-King’s half clearance, Nisbett caught his fifteen yard volley sweetly and the ball was past Mitchell Campbell in the home goal before he knew it.
That moment of magic settled a scrappy game, of which the home side played the majority with ten men after Danny Fraser was harshly sent off in the first half.
After JJ Melligan’s exploits in goal on Tuesday night, he was back in midfield today with Sam Arnold returning. Luke Richards failed to recover from the injury he picked up against Lichfield, while Alex Morris deputised at left back in place of Isaac Cooper and Clarke made his first Hinckley start, replacing Avun Jephcott.
Both sides took time to adjust to the heavy pitch, dampened after a downpour shortly before kick off, and it was the hosts who had the first chance.
After Hinckley wasted a free kick, Connell Farrell got in behind the visitors defence. But just as he was about to pull the trigger, he was denied by Mitchell Tomlinson’s superb block.
Shortly after, Campbell was tested for the first time, making a good reaction save from Melligan’s goalbound header.
The game was shaping up nicely, but the impetus was lost after fourteen minutes. Fraser and Robbie Millington challenged for a 50-50 ball on the touchline, but the referee adjudged that Fraser’s challenge was dangerous, and the Copsewood left back was dismissed.
Following that, the game quietened down, and the only save that either goalkeeper had to make in the first half came when Campbell comfortably held Marco Adaggio’s twenty yard effort.
Hinckley started the second half on top, and after a couple of half chances for JJ Melligan, Campbell had to be at his best to deny Nathan Walker’s fierce low drive from the edge of the box after Matt Gardner beat the offside trap.
At the other end, Arnold was called into action for the first time to deny Liam Cairns, before Farrell’s shot from the left was parried around his near post by the returning Hinckley ‘keeper.
Despite having more possession, Hinckley were struggling to break down a resolute Copsewood defence, and when Melligan headed Tomlinson’s cross wide Carl Abbott brought on Nisbett to give the home side something different to think about.
The winger had only been on the pitch for eight minutes when his magnificent volley flew into the back of the net, sending the Hinckley supporters and players alike into raptures.
Afterwards, Arnold was never tested in the Hinckley goal, and Abbott’s side held on for their fifth win in six.
Copsewood: Mitchell Campbell, Lawrence Rawlings (Michael Bawden 45), Danny Fraser, Andy Wilson-King, Michael Quirke, Matty Fowler, Jack Dobson (Stuart Adamson 56), Liam Cairns, Martin Gormley (Petajon Gordon 75), Connell Farrell, Dominic Alleyne. Sub not used: Arron Ajibawo.
Hinckley: Sam Arnold, Mitchell Tomlinson, Alex Morris, Dominic Smith, John Clapp, Nathan Walker, JJ Melligan (Jordan Rushton 89), Ross Clarke, Matt Gardner (Justin Nisbett 80), Marco Adaggio, Robbie Millington (Tyrone Clarke-O’Connell 69). Subs not used: Avun Jephcott, James Bennett-Tindall.
Goal: Justin Nisbett (88)