AFC let two-goal lead slip late on as Studley fight back
HINCKLEY AFC conceded twice late on as Studley fought back to salvage a point in a 2-2 draw at the Welfare Ground, writes Liam Gibbs.
The two sides had similar records before the game, and it showed in the encounter with little to separate the sides throughout.
Matt Jelfs’ deflected free kick and Jordan Wilson’s cool finish put Hinckley two goals to the good as James Jepson’s men looked set for a second straight victory.
But Joe Adams’ screamer pulled the Bees within a goal, before Reece Taylor-Randle levelled deep into stoppage time.
Jepson made four changes to his side that defeated Littleton last week. 16-year-old goalkeeper George Warren made his first start with Adam Harrison suspended, while Jelfs also started for the first time this season. Kieran Harrison and Louis Hamilton returned.
The first half was largely even, the two sides cancelling each other out for large parts on a wet Welfare Ground surface.
But the deadlock was broken just after the midway point in the half. Hinckley were awarded a free kick 20 yards out, and Jelfs’ set piece was deflected off the wall to leave Tom Hayward stranded and put Hinckley ahead.
All looked rosy for Hinckley at the break, and even more so after it.
Kicking down the slope, Studley had more of the play in the second half but created little to show for it as Hinckley, led superbly by Jason Lee, defended well.
And AFC netted a second goal with their best move of the match midway through the second period.
Jean Dakouri and Sam Belcher were heavily involved, the former’s surging run finding the latter who threaded Wilson through on goal, a fine move ending with Wilson’s neat finish to put AFC two goals to the good.
But Hinckley have struggled to keep hold of leads this season, and nerves would have been jangling with ten minutes to play when Adams’ fine strike from outside the box flew into the top corner to halve the deficit.
That gave Studley hope that they could extend their good run, and winger Dale Edwards continued to provide their greatest threat down their left.
Indeed, it was he who set up the equaliser four minutes into stoppage time, delivering low for Taylor-Randle to convert from close range and bag a dramatic point for the visitors.
Hinckley AFC in action on Saturday. Picture: Mark Parsons