Hinckley AFC and Heanor Town will meet again on Wednesday evening after yesterday’s Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round tie ended 1-1.
The two sides will go toe-to-toe again in the replay after they couldn’t be separated at St John’s Park in what was an entertaining spectacle in front of a crowd of 308.
Hinckley had the better of the first half and took the lead through Ryan Paddock, but their visitors came into the game well after the break and Elliott Reeves earned them a draw.
Missing a host of players through injury, suspension and holidays, Hinckley named three debutants in their starting line up, handing first starts to James Williams, Shaquille Lee and Jamal Clarke.
And they took little time to settle into the game, Rico Taylor forcing Heanor ‘keeper Joe McCormack into a routine early save after Darious Darkin’s good work.
It was an even opening, with AFC perhaps having the better of the early chances, but Heanor’s first opportunity came midway through the half as Arash Abdollahi glanced a header narrowly wide.
Then, Darkin’s effort from range flew just past McCormack’s upright, and Taylor forced the Heanor stopper into another save as AFC looked to break the deadlock before half time.
They did so six minutes before the interval courtesy of their captain for the evening, Paddock rising highest to power home a header from Taylor’s right wing corner.
Darkin and Taylor continued their impressive link up after the break, the latter’s mazy run creating a chance that Williams couldn’t connect fully with on the hour.
But as the half progressed, Heanor grew back into the game and equalised on 65 minutes. Good work from Nathan Benger and Kieran Debrouwer allowed Reeves to take advantage of a slightly hesitant defence, and he slotted home from close range to level the scores.
That spurred The Lions on, but while they had much of the possession thereafter and had AFC penned in their own half, Heanor couldn’t create too many opportunities to break down a resolute Hinckley defence.
Benger’s header narrowly evading the post was the closest they came to finding a winner, while at the other end, David Blenkinsopp was inches away from meeting a cross and putting Hinckley into the next round.
But while both sides had a chance, neither could find the elusive winner and they must try again on Wednesday evening.
Hinckley: Tom Cross, James Williams (David Blenkinsopp 75), Shaquille Lee, Ryan Paddock, Jamal Clarke, Mike Harvey, Lee Butler, Jean Kalenda (Tom McCrystal 88), Sean Williams, Rico Taylor, Darious Darkin (Peter Williams 72). Sub not used: Kian Jackson
Goal: Ryan Paddock (39)
Heanor: Joe McCormack, Greg Marriott, Jack Andrews (Cory Bowler 67), Chris Smith, Nick Hall, Ashleigh Lynch, Jason Foster (Nathan Benger 58), Joe Naylor, Arash Abdollahi, Kieran Debrouwer, Elliott Reeves. Subs not used: Jordan Simpson, Keenan Layton, Jack Warner, Ryan Seale
Goal: Elliott Reeves (65)