Goals from Darious Darkin and Jake Healy were not enough to prevent Hinckley AFC sliding to an entertaining 4-2 defeat at home to neighbouring Nuneaton Town.
In what was a good spectacle throughout, Hinckley took an early lead and then levelled to 2-2 in the second half, before Nuneaton eventually ran out winners.
Hinckley started the game the more eager and soon opened up the scoring. Darkin beat his man down the right before his cross was blocked, a momentary lapse of concentration from the Nuneaton defence allowing Darkin to dispossess the defender before coolly slotting past the onrushing Ty Belford.
Against the run of play Nuneaton levelled. Haydn Whitcombe spilled the ball to Luke Trotman, who reacted quickest and simply rolled the ball into an empty net from 16 yards.
Chances fell to both sides before half-time, with Hinckley’s best falling to Bekir Halil who flashed over from the edge of the box, while impressive shot stopping from Whitcombe kept Nuneaton at bay.
Hinckley started the second half much like they did the first, and looked to regain the lead as Isaac Cooper raced through only to be denied by a last ditch tackle to prevent a shot at goal.
Nuneaton grew into the second half and eventually got reward for their continued pressure through Alex Henshall’s fine strike from 20 yards which wrong-footed substitute keeper Jack Hartopp and nestled into the back of the net.
With ten minutes remaining, Hinckley went in search for an equaliser and after some magnificent work down the left from James Williams, the ball was sprayed over to Halil. He delivered a pinpoint ball to Healy who showed great composure to unleash a strike across Belford into the bottom corner for his second of the game.
The topsy turvy clash did not end there, with Nuneaton scoring a quick fire double late on. First, a dangerous ball was met by the towering centre half who rose highest to nod home at the back post, before Ashley Chambers’ clinical finish after good work down the right left Hartopp with no chance.
Carl Abbott and his men will take plenty of positives from the performance after holding their own against the Vanarama National League North side for the majority of the match.
The pre-season campaign continues with a short trip to Bedworth United on Saturday at 3pm.