Hinckley AFC crashed out of the Buildbase FA Vase at the first hurdle as league rivals Studley claimed a 2-0 win at Kirkby Road.
On a warm late summer’s afternoon, Hinckley were never at the races and the visiting Bees buzzed energetically around their laboured hosts from the first minute.
Once Dale Edwards gave them a fourth minute lead, the result was never in doubt and in truth AFC were grateful that Mark Magee’s 19th minute strike was the last ink on the scoresheet.
With number one Billy Spink unavailable, ex-Tamworth stopper Aidan Jeynes made a debut in goal while Nick Brandish debuted after returning from suspension as part of five changes from the side that beat Chelmsley Town on Monday.
But Hinckley were flat-footed from the very start and the visitors were quicker, sharper and first to every ball. Less than four minutes had passed when AFC were caught trying to play out from the back and Edwards cut inside and drove a firm 25-yard strike effort beyond Jeynes.
Hinckley almost hit back when Chris Lloyd’s clever turn on the edge of the box gave him a chance that was blocked, the resulting corner found the same player but his effort was this time deflected inches wide.
That was as close as Hinckley came all half and the visitors continued their dominance. After 19 minutes, they took a corner short and Edwards turned provider, crossing to the far post where Hinckley switched off and Magee was left unmarked to head home from six yards.
Then, Dan Carter raced in behind but was brought down by the onrushing Jeynes, who redeemed himself with a smart save from Edwards’ resulting spot kick which in a sharp Studley display was uncharacteristically tame.
Hinckley made a double change by the half hour mark and that at least stopped Studley threatening at will, but still their passing let them down all too often. Carter missed a pair of good Studley chances when he failed to make proper contact with two crosses.
After half time Studley were happy for Hinckley to have possession on halfway, visiting skipper David Edwards all too happy to head and boot clearances as he and fellow centre back Daniel Noke remained largely untroubled.
Hinckley’s afternoon was summed up midway through the half, when Isaac Cooper launched a threatening long throw, but nobody attacked it as it ran through untouched for a goal kick.
With 15 minutes to go, AFC stepped up a gear as Jack Edwards’s long range strike and Lloyd’s lob both went wide, while Danny Harris had one blocked.
Visiting ‘keeper Charlie Bannister then made his first save of the match from Ben Ashby’s speculative strike from distance, the same player having one blocked from the resulting corner.
But Studley rode out that period, Hinckley’s best of the match by some distance, and should have scored more on the break themselves as AFC piled men forward looking for a route back into the game.
Jeynes made a point blank save and Oli Bradshaw cleared off the line, before the young ‘keeper made fine late saves to deny Edwards and Magee to keep the score down.
And when Lloyd’s stoppage time header was cleared off the line, onto the bar, onto the post and out again, Hinckley knew it wasn’t their day and AFC have much to put right ahead of the league visit to the same opponents on Tuesday.
Hinckley: Aidan Jeynes, Ben Whitehead (Isaac Cooper 28), Callum Martin (Danny Harris 46), Nick Brandish, Oli Bradshaw, Ben Kendrick, Reece Giles, Tom Weale (Jack Edwards 28), Luke Richards, Ben Ashby, Chris Lloyd. Subs not used: Mark Williams, Scott Smith, Dan Hoskins, Kai Gibbs
Studley: Charlie Bannister, Jordan Jones, Sean Cooke (Joel Caines 46), Daniel Noke, David Edwards, Max Loveridge, Matt Edwards, Chris Cowley (Tom Fishwick 82), Mark Magee, Dan Carter, Dale Edwards. Subs not used: Dean Fisher, Connor McCarthy, Simon Fitter
Goals: Dale Edwards (4), Mark Magee (19)