Hinckley AFC 1-2 Littleton

Hinckley AFC slumped to a fifth straight defeat as Littleton moved off the bottom of the Midland League Division One with a battling 2-1 win at the Welfare Ground.

The visitors boosted their hopes of avoiding relegation with a goal in each half as they took advantage of a lacklustre Hinckley display.

AFC hoped Grant Ryan’s leveller, which cancelled out Dean Fisher’s opener, would spark them into life but it failed to do so, and Dan Holloway’s goal on the hour secured all three points.

John Ramshaw made three changes to the side beaten by NKF Burbage on Saturday as Chris Hollist, Louis Hamilton and Grant Ryan all returned.

But after an early chance less than a minute in, when Alando Lewis stabbed wide after Hollist’s good work down the left, Hinckley never asserted an authority on the game.

Indeed, it was Yinka Adebowale in the AFC goal who was the busier of the two keepers. He pulled off a good one-handed save to keep out Jesson Dinanga 13 minutes in.

AFC’s best chance of the half came through Hollist again, when he got in behind the defence only for Edward Cox in the visiting goal to race out quickly and deny him.

But the visitors still had the better of the chances as they took advantage of Hinckley’s poor retention of the ball. 

And they took the lead seven minutes before half time, when a shot from the edge of the area was blocked but it fell kindly for Fisher to net from close range.

It could have been 2-0 just a couple of minutes later, but Hinckley were again indebted to Adebowale for a good reaction save that prevented Cameron Walker adding a second.

Needing a big response after half time, Hinckley hoped they’d got what they were looking for when they pulled level three minutes into the second half. Tyrone Burton drilled a low cross into the box, where Ryan turned home his 13th of the season from six yards.

But it didn’t spark Hinckley to life in the way they, or the 100 fans who made the journey to Ibstock, hoped it would. 

Cox in the Littleton goal was rarely tested, and the visitors restored their lead just before the hour mark. Walker was brought down just inside the box, and Holloway converted the resulting spot kick.

Hinckley had half an hour to fight for an equaliser, but they hardly created a chance and never looked like denying Littleton a second straight win in their bid to avoid the drop.

Hinckley: Yinka Adebowale, Chad Timson, Matt Jelfs (Ollie Hart 59), Tyrone Burton, Liam Cross, Chris Hollist, Louis Hamilton, Jean Dakouri, Grant Ryan, Alando Lewis, Ryan Murphy (David Jones 75). Subs not used: George Warren, Chandler Pegg, Ryan Mills

Goal: Grant Ryan (48)

Littleton: Edward Cox, Joe Frampton, Will Middleton, Harry Jervis (Kieron Evans 78), Sam Penfold, Brogan Halpin, Jade Ferron, Jesson Dinanga (Mason Lindon 92), Dan Holloway, Dean Fisher, Cameron Walker. Subs not used: Sam Bridges, Sam Hart

Goals: Dean Fisher (38), Dan Holloway (58)

Attendance: 100

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