Nuneaton Griff 3-0 Hinckley AFC
Hinckley AFC slipped to their second defeat of the season with a 3-0 reverse at high flying Nuneaton Griff.
On a night where Hinckley failed to adapt to the bumpy pitch, Griff scored twice before half time and once late on as they put Carl Abbott’s side to the sword.
Josh Ruff, Luke Shorthouse and Ryan Slinn found the net for the home side as they strengthened their grip on second place, while Hinckley’s misery was compounded by the late dismissal of Dom Smith.
Abbott handed a full debut to Elikem Amenku in midfield, while Sam Arnold, Jamie Newton, Mitchell Tomlinson and Neil MacKenzie all returned to the side as five changes were made from the eleven that beat Racing Club Warwick on Saturday.
Hinckley went into the game looking for a tenth straight win, but even from the outset it never looked likely. In truth, they never looked threatening going forward, but there was very little in the game early on.
The only real chance of the opening stages went to the hosts on the quarter hour mark, and the league’s most potent strike force took it. Ruff’s clever near post run saw him meet a corner and flick neatly inside Arnold’s far post.
The large contingent of travelling fans would have hoped to see their side liven up after going a goal behind, but AFC’s pedestrian start continued as the half wore on.
The Heartlanders felt they should have had a second when a header from a corner was disallowed, but they didn’t have to wait much longer to double their advantage. Shorthouse beat Smith to the ball, and coolly slotted past Arnold in a one on one situation.
The second half continued in much the same vein as the first, and Newton had to be alert to clear off the line after Arnold failed to deal with Shorthouse’s effort.
Luke Richards did force the first save of the game from home ‘keeper George Woodward, but Shorthouse missed the target with a free header as Hinckley lacked any creativity.
Then, substitute Slinn added a third with seven minutes to go and Smith was sent off after receiving two bookings in the space of a minute.
So a night to forget for AFC, but they must dust themselves down and go again on Saturday afternoon when they visit Chasetown in the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Cup.
Nuneaton: George Woodward, Ryan Aston, Jamie Greenway, Darren Eggleton, Ryan Millerchip, Mark Williams, Dave Barnett (Ryan Slinn 75), Kyle Baxter, Luke Shorthouse (Aden Moore 83), Danny Edmond, Josh Ruff (Chris Sockett 87). Subs not used: Nic Gilks, Ben Johnson.
Goals: Josh Ruff (14), Luke Shorthouse (45), Ryan Slinn (83).
Hinckley: Sam Arnold, Jamie Newton, Mitchell Tomlinson, Dom Smith, Jean Kalenda, Neil MacKenzie (Deqwon Ebanks 53), Javia Roberts, Nathan Walker, Elikem Amenku, Marco Adaggio, Luke Richards. Subs not used: Rico Taylor, Jack Hartopp, Oli Basham, Darious Darkin.