Hinckley AFC 4-0 Littleton
Two second half goals apiece from Marco Adaggio and Matt Gardner gave Hinckley AFC a comfortable 4-0 win over Littleton at St John’s Park.
After a goalless first half of few chances, Adaggio broke the deadlock shortly after half time, before adding a second fifteen minutes from time.
Gardner, on as a second half substitute, wrapped up the win by rounding Haydn Whitcombe and coolly slotting home twice in the final ten minutes to emphasise Hinckley’s domination.
Hinckley made four changes to the side that beat Coventry Copsewood last week. After his stunning winner, Justin Nisbett returned to the starting line up, alongside Avun Jephcott, Jordan Rushton and Isaac Cooper.
The game started quietly, and it took until midway through the first half for either side to come close: Joe Smith shooting narrowly over for the visitors after his shot took a deflection off Alex Morris.
At the other end, Whitcombe was first called into action when Adaggio brought down JJ Melligan’s cross on the edge of the box, but the former AFC Telford striker saw his shot saved.
Littleton thought they had opened the scoring on the half hour, but Stuart Hall’s celebrations were cut short on seeing the assistant referee’s flag raised for offside.
Morris had a header cleared off the line shortly afterwards following Whitcombe’s misjudgement of a corner as both sides pressed for the first goal before half time.
That first half goal never came, but Hinckley dominated after the interval and came close to breaking the deadlock just a minute after the restart. After good work down the right, Melligan stood the ball up to the far post where Nisbett headed against the woodwork.
It mattered not, though, as less than a minute later, Adaggio escaped his marker to head home Nisbett’s left wing cross and open the scoring.
Robbie Bunn came close to equalising for the visitors when his twenty yard shot drifted narrowly wide, but Sam Arnold wasn’t truly tested in the Hinckley goal.
And Hinckley doubled their lead after 74 minutes. Luke Richards’ powerful run down the left channel ended with a low cross that Adaggio couldn’t miss from six yards out.
Gardner came on as a substitute with thirteen minutes remaining, and he nearly had an instant impact. He had barely been on the pitch for ten seconds when his turn and shot struck the post.
But he did score three minutes later, latching onto Cooper’s magnificent lob and calmly taking the ball around the stranded Whitcombe.
And the same combination wrapped up the scoring in stoppage time. Gardner capitalised on a slip from a defender to control Cooper’s through ball and take the ball around Whitcombe for the second time.
It is now seven games without defeat for Carl Abbott’s side, who end November unbeaten as they take another break from league action on Tuesday night at St John’s Park, kick off 7-30pm.
Hinckley: Sam Arnold, Mitchell Tomlinson, Isaac Cooper, Jordan Rushton, Alex Morris, Avun Jephcott, JJ Melligan (Michael Healy 81), Nathan Walker, Marco Adaggio, Ross Clarke (Matt Gardner 77), Justin Nisbett (Luke Richards 64). Subs not used: Jack Hartopp, Dominic Oliver.
Goals: Marco Adaggio (47 & 74), Matt Gardner (80 & 90+3)
Littleton: Haydn Whitcombe, Callum Clarke (Steve Edghill 56), Michael Clough, Jake Wilcox, Will Gayton, Robbie Bunn, Joe Smith, Sean Cooke (Dale Aldington 77), Jamie Clarke, Stuart Hall (Luke Rowlands 83), Kyonn Evans. Subs not used: Mayo McLeod, Adam Howells.