Pelsall Villa 2-3 Hinckley AFC
Ten man Hinckley AFC twice came from behind to record a 3-2 victory at bottom of the table Pelsall Villa this afternoon.
On a difficult pitch, AFC were playing up a considerable slope in the first half, and fell behind early on when Spencer Blackham scuffed home.
Hinckley’s task was made even more difficult on the half hour when Mitchell Tomlinson was sent off for bringing down Jonathan Letford as the last defender, but Rob Millington equalised shortly afterwards to send the sides in level at the break.
Pelsall retook the lead within two minutes of the restart through substitute Dean Williams, but two goals in three minutes just before the hour mark from Alex Morris and Marco Adaggio gave Hinckley an fourteenth win in sixteen.
Hinckley handed a debut to Oli Basham at centre back, while Justin Nisbett also returned to the side on the wing. Recent signings Matt Bailey and Danny Kavanagh were on the bench.
The game kicked off five minutes early, but Pelsall were ahead before 3pm. Sloppy defending from Hinckley led to pinball in the box, where Blackham scuffed into the bottom corner from eight yards after Jack Hartopp had denied Ryan Wood.
Five minutes later, Letford raced through on goal, and after he was denied by Hartopp’s good save, Dom Smith’s superb recovering tackle put the ball out for a corner just as Letford was about to pull the trigger.
Letford’s movement caused Hinckley problems all half, and when he was sent through on goal again, he was clipped by last man Tomlinson, who received his marching orders.
But just four minutes later Hinckley equalised, when Adaggio’s cross was headed home by a stooping Millington at the far post.
Another well-timed last ditch challenge from Smith prevented Letford restoring Pelsall’s lead before half time, and from the resulting corner Letford’s close range header was straight at Hartopp.
Hinckley hit the post a minute into the second half through Ross Clarke’s free kick, but Pelsall retook the lead a minute later.
Williams only came on as a substitute at half time, and he scored with his first touch, finishing past Hartopp after being sent through on goal by Wood.
Nisbett’s scuffed left foot shot trickled wide from close range five minutes later as Hinckley pushed for an equaliser.
But they didn’t have to wait too much longer to be back on level terms. Clarke’s free kick from wide on the right was met by Morris, who celebrated as his powerful header flew inside the far post despite the initial confusion when the ball bounced through a hole in the net.
Three minutes later, the game had turned on its head when Adaggio glanced Nathan Walker’s left wing corner inside the far post.
From then on, chances were few and far between as the heavy surface took its toll. AFC searched for an elusive fourth goal that would put the game out of sight, but didn’t test home ‘keeper Tom Burns, while Pelsall never troubled Hartopp as AFC held on for the win that moves them up to second in the Midland League First Division table.
Pelsall: Tom Burns, Harry Rogers, Luke Holmes, Jake Gough, James Alton, Alastair Holding, Adam Johnson, Mitchell Clarke (Tom Turner 66), Spencer Blackham (Dean Williams 45), Jonathan Letford, Ryan Wood (Jordan Spragg 70). Subs not used: Gavin Allers, Barry Dedman.
Goals: Spencer Blackham (4), Dean Williams (47).
Hinckley: Jack Hartopp, Mitchell Tomlinson, Alex Morris, Dominic Smith, Oli Basham (Matt Bailey 45), Nathan Walker, JJ Melligan (Danny Kavanagh 55), Ross Clarke, Rob Millington, Marco Adaggio, Justin Nisbett (Tyrone Clarke-O’Connell 65). Subs not used: Isaac Cooper, Michael Healy.
Goals: Rob Millington (33), Alex Morris (55), Marco Adaggio (58).