Hinckley AFC endured an afternoon to forget as NKF Burbage scored three second half goals to win 3-0 at the Welfare Ground.
Hinckley failed to score for the first time this season as a lacklustre display in the LE10 derby condemned them to a fourth league defeat of the season.
Charles Butler, Ryan Cheshire and Jack Sutherland all took advantage of Hinckley’s slack defending to net second half strikes and move Burbage within two points of AFC in Division One.
Courtney Belford made some enforced changes to his Hinckley side, with Jake Brown (food poisoning), Dimitri Dunkley (knee) and Mark Williams and Luke Shorthouse (both work commitments) all missing.
Former Burbage man Tom Smith returned to face his former side, but although he looked the most likely to make something happen, Hinckley didn’t get him involved enough in a below par team performance.
Burbage were livelier early on and saw Sutherland and Dan Heath fail to test Ty Belford from free kicks, but Hinckley started to find their way more as the half wore on.
And after Luke Richards was denied by Alec Hill’s save on the angle after being sent through by Smith, their best chance came five minutes before the break when Ky Green’s flick found Richards again, who scooped over from inside the six yard box.
It was a chance that should have yielded the opening goal in Hinckley’s favour, and not taking it would come back to haunt them – especially after Richards was again denied by Hill on the stroke of half time with a lob held at full stretch.
Centre back Green was then forced off at the interval, and Hinckley’s back line looked shakier for the loss of their number five.
And five minutes into the half, Burbage broke the deadlock. Jake Gardner’s inswinging free kick was headed clear only as far as Butler on the edge of the box, who volleyed home a fine strike from 20 yards to give his side the lead.
That spurred Burbage on, and after Sutherland’s cross-shot was deflected narrowly wide, they added a second on the hour when Cheshire nipped in front of Belford to nod home a second.
Hill was called into action again to deny Smith’s smart shot on the turn and Luke Delaney’s free kick, but when Ash Gray was sent off for a second booking midway through the half Hinckley’s task was made even more difficult.
And Burbage took advantage, Jesse Adcock forcing Belford to tip one over before they wrapped the game up with six minutes to play. Sutherland, who failed to score in 12 appearances for Hinckley a couple of seasons ago, came back to haunt his old side with a seemingly innocuous header but one which left Belford unsighted from 15 yards as it eluded everyone and compounded Hinckley’s woes on an afternoon to forget for the men in red.
Hinckley: Ty Belford, George Brindley, Ash Gray, Ryan Ball (Scott Smith 60), Ky Green (Liam Cross 46), Greg Webb, Lewis Commins, Luke Delaney, Luke Richards, Tom Smith, Isaac Cooper (Michael Wright 60). Subs not used: Sam Reuben, Reece Giles
Burbage: Alec Hill, Liam Storer, Dan Heath (Josh Kind 83), Mitchell Barwick, Jordan Pickering, Oliver Bradshaw, Jake Gardner, Jesse Adcock (Harry Hopkins-Tamblyn 85), Charles Butler, Ryan Cheshire (Tom Weaver 70), Jack Sutherland. Subs not used: Tristan Atkinson, Grant Ball
Goals: Charles Butler (50), Ryan Cheshire (57), Jack Sutherland (84)