Hinckley AFC manager Carl Abbott said his side’s 3-2 win over Heath Hayes last night was a hard fought three points.
AFC had to come from behind to take a half time lead, and even though they controlled the second half couldn’t put the game beyond doubt.
A late penalty gave Hinckley a nervous time in stoppage time but AFC held out for their third straight win.
Abbott, though, says there are areas to be improved. He said: “The first half an hour I thought was very poor, but the last ten or 15 minutes before half time I thought we controlled the game and our half time team talk changed somewhat.
“We went in at 2-1 up so that meant half time could be more of a chat rather than a stir.
“In the second half I thought we were far better. We were on top of them, no disrespect to Heath Hayes, but they kept plugging away.
“We weren’t clinical and couldn’t kill them off and at 3-1 gave away a cheap penalty. Chad’s been superb since he’s come in but he got a bit sleepy there.
“That made it a tense final three or four minutes but I think the scoreline looks tighter than the game was.”
One of the ongoing battles of the first half saw Brad Rolston, Heath Hayes’ main threat throughout, up against Lee Thomas on Hinckley’s left. Abbott felt it was a fascinating battle.
“Lee’s best work is done going forward but he’s working on his defending and listening to the information we’re giving him.
“He got caught on the wrong side a couple of times and was maybe a little tentative pinching the ball or sorting himself out positionally.
“The lad (Rolston) had a lot of pace and having watched it until Lee came off I’m still not sure who was the quickest out of the two of them.
“It was a very good duel and Lee acquitted himself well defensively.”
One feature of the game was the constant running of Sam Agar. The striker has now gone three games without a goal but Abbott says his contributions have been outstanding in recent weeks and says Agar, like Ryan Seal, will start to net regularly again soon.
“Sam gets very frustrated when he’s not scoring but twice in two games he’s set up the goal that’s won us the game.
“Assists like that are as good as a goal. Sam put a great shift in and he created the goal that turned out to win the game.
“Just like Sealy, the goals will start to roll again soon but we’re really pleased with Sam. He needs to appreciate the great levels he brings to the team and not beat himself up simply because he isn’t scoring.”