Hinckley AFC v Stafford Town – Friday 23rd September 2022 – Kirkby Road (Barwell)

On a journey north, to drop my daughter at University, I stopped, with my father, to watch an FA Vase tie between Hinckley AFC and Stafford Town. Barwell sits on the edge of Hinckley, a town which lies between Leicester and Coventry.

Main grandstand at Kirkby Road (Barwell)

AfC Hinckley share the ground with Barwell FC. The Kirkby Road ground boasts a decent grandstand, with seating for 256 as well as decent covered standing and a total capacity of 2500. There are good facilities and a 3G pitch. The attendance for this Friday evening FA Vase tie was 158, which was enough to create an atmosphere in this friendly-feeling ground, where all the staff encountered were welcoming.

Hinckley Team – Courtesy of club Twitter account.
Views across to the grandstand and covered terrace standing at Kirkby Road (Barwell).

Hinckley AFC coming into tonight’s fixture C JB V sit 14th in Midland League, Division 1, with 11 points from a possible 21, after seven matches. The visitors, Stafford Town, came into the game sitting a lowly 16th in the North West Counties league, with just eight points from 10 games.

Stafford Town team – Courtesy of club Twitter account.

The first half saw both teams on the attack, looking to break the deadlock early in the tie. Often the approach play was strong but the final pass through to the front players was lacking. However it wasn’t, until the 45th minute, that there was, after a poor challenge in the area, a penalty awarded to Hinckley AFC.

The home side’s centre half, Luke Wilson, struck the penalty weakly and Rhys Williams in the Stafford Town goal, was able to save easily, diving to his right.

Penalty miss on 45 minutes.

The second half saw more good approach play, without any really clinical finishing in the final third. However on the 60 minute mark the game changed, when a reckless, although unintended late challenge from Stafford Town’s substitute, Reece Bailey, earned him a red card.

Stafford Town’s ten men fought valiantly but in the 87th minute, Hinckley AFC had the ball in the net when debutant, Chandler Pegg, finished with a fine header, after an inch perfect cross, by 16 year old left back and my man of the match, Marley Sweeney-Rowe.


At full time it was Hinckley AFC who went into the next round. Stafford Town had chances to win this match, and progress in the FA Vase, but ultimately the sending off swung the tie and Hinckley AFC finished the match as the better team.

Scenes at the full time whistle.
Leaving the pitch.

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