OJM were looking to get a result yesterday afternoon at the Triplex Sports Association to keep their run for the play offs going. The hosts had been one of the standout teams in division one this season and were in 5th going into this one. They were unbeaten at home from five matches with only five goals conceded.
Hinckley AFC were the form team in division one. The Leicestershire side have been excellent over the last month and were unbeaten in eight league matches going into this one to sit top of the table. Their away form had been a key strength of their season with seven wins from nine matches on the road.
The atmosphere around the Triplex Sports Association prior to kick off was positive and relaxed with both sets of supporters looking forward to the match. There was a brilliant turnout of Hinckley supporters who made the trip from Leicester for yesterday’s match which was commendable given the time of the year and the challenging weather conditions.
Starting Line ups
The starting line up for OJM Black Country included Tom Clap in goal and Callum Nimmo captaining the team from central defence. The formation appeared to be a 4-3-3 with Kosheen Tyareese Sappelton leading the line up front and being supported by Taylor Homer and Reece Morris on the wings.
There were two changes from the team that started against Bilston Town last weekend with Joshua Mussell coming into the team and playing at right back.
Hinckley AFC’s starting line up featured Matt Hill in goal and Danny Fraser captaining the team from left back. The formation looked like a 4-3-3 with a front two of Brady Middleton and Jack Edwards being supported by Tom Weale in attacking midfield.
There was one change from the team that started against Smethwick Rangers last weekend with Tom Weale coming back into the team and playing in the number ten role.
Hinckley started the match the stronger of the two teams and took the initiative early on. The visitors looked to get on the ball and build up attacks on the OJM goal.
The main pattern of the first half involved Hinckley controlling the match and looking to break down a stubborn OJM defence who were looking to break with pace on the counterattack when given the opportunity. Despite the visitors having a control of the match, it was fairly even throughout the first half with Hinckley getting into some good positions around the penalty box and just missing that final ball.
OJM had some excellent chances to take the lead with their counter attacking style working well and causing the Hinckley defence some problems. The hosts invited Hinckley on to them and then accelerated with the ball quickly.
Kosheen Tyareese Sappelton was getting into some excellent positions around the box in the opening half an hour. The only thing missing was that composure in the box to take the chances in front of goal. He had a header go narrowly wide of the goal on the half hour mark.
The best chance of the first half fell to Taylor Homer who was through one on one with Matt Hill who made an excellent save to keep the scores level. None the less, OJM were well in the match with Stefan Cameron and Callum Nimmo looking solid at the back and underlining why they have the best defensive record in the division.
It was an intriguing match going into half time with both teams impressing and showing why they have had success this season.
There was a crucial moment early in the second half with Callum Nimmo going off injured. He was excellent at the back and provided a sense of assurance at the back for OJM Black Country, so it was a huge blow when he went off early on.
Hinckley AFC took advantage of this and produced a moment of quality to take the lead which opened the OJM defence up. Jack Edwards played an excellently weighted through ball that found Lewis Rankin who finished well into the bottom right corner to make it 1-0.
None the less, OJM did have chances to get back into and created some good opportunities in the box. The best chance fell to substitute Eshan Greer who capitalised on a mistake at the back and went one on one with Matt Hill before shooting narrowly wide of the goal.
In a match where there was not much in it, the fine margins in the box made the ultimate difference to the result. Hinckley managed to make it 2-0 late on to seal the three points at one of the toughest grounds to get a result. Matt Dawson anticipated the ball excellently in the box and got forward from right back to finish well.
There was a good chance for OJM to reduce the deficit with Steven Leslie hitting a brilliant free kick that was well saved by Matt Hill. There was also an incident off the ball near full time with Adam Callinswood and Matt Dawson being sent off.
The match was stretched near the full-time whistle with both teams having good opportunities to score. Jordan Sangha had a good chance on the edge of the box for OJM and substitute Joe Cairnes had a late effort in the box go wide for Hinckley.
Not long after the whistle blew with Hinckley getting a statement win and creating a nine-point gap at the top of the table.
Despite the defeat, there was plenty of quality on show by OJM who are well in the hunt for the play offs. That fifth place spot is wide open with only four points separating Ingles in 5th from Wednesfield in 8th. Having that consistency in terms of results is going to be key come the end of the season and should be something that OJM can aim for.
The team played well yesterday and were just undone by that bit of quality in the box from Hinckley.
Stefan Cameron was excellent at the back. He read the game well to make crucial clearances in the box and stop promising Hinckley attacks. Joshua Mussell had an underrated game from right back and looked solid defensively as well as offering quality going forward.
Steve Leslie was brilliant in the holding midfield role and linked up the play well when building attacks. He offers the team that bit of composure from midfield to get the ball moving. Kosheen Tyareese Sappelton looked promising up front and got into some excellent positions in the box.
The most pleasing thing about OJM yesterday was the chances created in front of goal against a quality team. It feels like a team with the potential to get better week on week and their set for an interesting second half of the season.
Hinckley were good yesterday and had that bit of quality on the ball to win the match. Their in a brilliant position in the league and it’s just a case of keeping the standards up between now and the end of the season.
It was a brilliant team performance both on and off the ball against OJM. Kyron Green was brilliant at the back and read the game well for the visitors. He was good in the air and managed to clear the ball away from danger. Danny Fraser had an underrated game from left back and was excellent. He constantly managed to win the ball back and gave the team that sense of assurance at the back.
Lewis Rankin stood out from midfield and was linking up the play well. He made some excellent through balls in the second half that took out the OJM defence and had that bit of quality on the ball which can make the difference in tight matches.
Overall, an enjoyable match yesterday at the Triplex Sports Association against two quality teams that look set to compete at the top of the table for the rest of the season.
FT score: OJM Black Country 0-2 Hinckley AFC
Man of the Match: Lewis Rankin (Hinckley AFC)
Match report written by Rhys Beardmore for the Midland Football League
The official news channel of the Midland Football League (founded 2014)