Hinckley AFC’s Jelson Homes Senior Cup run ended at the first hurdle as league rivals Ashby Ivanhoe scored two late goals to seal a 4-1 win.
AFC looked in a good position when Scott Smith scored his first goal for the club on his first start, but the game changed in two minutes on half time when Angus Blair-Park levelled and Hinckley saw Mark Williams bizarrely sent off.
It put AFC up against it after half time, and the hosts netted three second half goals to ensure they progress to the second round.
Courtney Belford made five changes to his Hinckley side from the weekend to get his squad plenty of minutes, as Sam Reuben, Williams, Jake Brown, Smith and Michael Wright all came into the side.
And they made a positive start when Smith netted his first for the club after just eight minutes. He was left in space from Reuben’s left wing cross, and despite not connecting cleanly with the initial header forced it over the line to break the deadlock.
They should have doubled their lead not long after, but Tom Smith couldn’t convert after neat build up play involving Wright.
But Ashby had a golden chance to hit back on the half hour when Liam Cross was adjudged to have handled in the box, and was then sin binned by the referee for protesting his innocence.
The referee would have a greater impact later, but for the moment Hinckley kept their lead in tact as Ty Belford saved Sam Grouse’s effort from the spot.
But the nature of the game changed in two minutes right on half time.
First, Ashby levelled when Blair-Park ran through on goal and made no mistake against Belford, slotting his side back on terms.
But Hinckley then thought they’d restored their lead in first half stoppage time when Smith dispossessed Ashby deep in their own half, and squared for Wright to score.
But Wright, and Hinckley, were baffled to see an Ashby free kick given as the officials spotted a foul by Smith in the build up.
Irritated by that, captain Williams was shown two yellow cards in a matter of seconds for questioning the decision, and Hinckley had to come out after half time with ten men.
It took Ashby just five minutes to take the lead, Liam Donaghy’s low drive flying through a crowd of bodies and in after Hinckley only half cleared a corner.
With a numerical disadvantage after half time, Hinckley battled hard but struggled to create too much in the way of an opening for an equaliser.
And they ran out of steam late on as the clinical hosts took full advantage to add an element of emphasis to the scoreline. Grouse made up for his earlier miss by scoring with his second spot kick of the evening, before Kerr Horn added a fourth in the final minute of normal time as Ashby progress to round two.
Ashby: Jake Warriner, Owen Gibbons, Harry Stewart, Joe Neal, Macauley Holmes, Jack Robinson, Liam Donaghy, Angus Blair-Park, Kerr Horn, Sam Grouse, Lewis Pointon. Substitutes: Ross McGarry, Ben Windridge, Ryan Dowling, Jack Dunkley, Torin Harkin
Goals: Angus Blair-Park (45), Liam Donaghy (50), Sam Grouse (86 pen), Kerr Horn (90)
Hinckley: Ty Belford, George Brindley, Sam Reuben, Mark Williams, Greg Webb, Liam Cross, Luke Delaney (Reece Giles), Jake Brown, Scott Smith, Tom Smith (Luke Shorthouse), Michael Wright (Lewis Commins). Subs not used: Luke Richards, Ryan Ball
Goal: Scott Smith (8)