Hinckley AFC 0-4 Coventry United
The first midweek game of the season for Hinckley AFC seems to have its own script.
Last season, newly promoted Uttoxeter Town ran riot at St John’s Park and put six past a shellshocked Hinckley defence. Yesterday, a clinical Coventry United, winners of Division Two last year, put Hinckley to the sword.
But though the result of the Uttoxeter game reflected the balance of play, this result against Coventry certainly didn’t. Hinckley carved out several chances of their own to better the visitors’ shot count, but couldn’t take them and every mistake Hinckley made was capitalised upon by a ruthless Coventry side.
Josh O’Grady was the visitors’ star of the show, he scored two fine first half goals, before Josh Blake added a third, and Jean Dakouri a fourth from the penalty spot.
Hinckley made three enforced changes to the side that beat Cadbury Athletic on Saturday, with Mitchell Tomlinson, Sean Williams and Justin Nisbett coming into the side.
Just three minutes had passed when O’Grady gave United the lead, finding the net from twenty yards after excellent build up play.
O’Grady almost scored a second in similar circumstances shortly afterwards, before Hinckley’s first chance of the night was spurned by Simon Johnson, who tamely met Sean Williams’ cross.
Midway through the half, Marco Adaggio worked himself a one on one chance, but snatched at his shot and blazed it over Richard Morris’ crossbar.
Hinckley were being made to pay for their missed chances, and O’Grady scored his second of the evening six minutes before the break. He capitalised on Nathan Walker’s loss of possession, and gave Jack Hartopp no chance with another twenty yard strike.
The second half continued in the same vein, and five minutes after the interval, the visitors made it three when Blake finished coolly to capitalise on Hinckley’s disorganised defending.
Hinckley continued to create chances of their own, and on 52 minutes should have scored. One on one, Johnson’s was a tame finish and Morris easily gathered after good work by Mitchell Tomlinson.
In a similar situation, Nisbett attempted to lob Morris, but the visiting keeper clawed away his effort.
The closest Hinckley came to a goal was through Williams, who drove forward and fired a long range effort off the post.
A frustrating night for the home side was compounded fifteen minutes from the end, when substitute keeper Sam Arnold (who replaced the injured Hartopp) committed a foul in the area, and Dakouri converted the spot kick.
The defeat was Hinckley’s first in the league since a defeat to Bolehall Swifts 28 matches ago, and they will look to bounce back in the FA Cup against Walsall Wood on Saturday.
Hinckley: Jack Hartopp (Sam Arnold 55), Mitchell Tomlinson, Liam Smith, Jean Kalenda, Alex Morris, Neil MacKenzie, Sean Williams, Nathan Walker, Simon Johnson (Ryan Taylor 71), Marco Adaggio, Justin Nisbett. Subs not used: Oli Basham, Deqwon Ebanks, Jack Jepson
Coventry: Richard Morris, Pierre Moudime, Jamie Coleman, Jean Dakouri, Martin Hutchcox, Callum Burgess, Josh O’Grady, Gift Mussa, Ross Briscoe, Josh Blake, Charlie Cook. Substitutes: Robert Prinzel, Chris Cox, Kiam Galdins, Muziwandile Nduna, Leon Kelly
Goals: Josh O’Grady (3, 39), Josh Blake (50), Jean Dakouri (74 pen).