Hinckley AFC go into lockdown having surrendered their impressive winning sequence and having to settle for a 1-1 draw against GNP Sports.
They could have no complaints, despite coming into the game off the back of six successive wins. AFC looked laboured for long spells of the game and rarely displayed the fluency of recent weeks as a much changed GNP team looked anything but a bottom of the table side.
They named eight players who had previously started twice or less for them this season, with only one player remaining from their 8-0 drubbing by Studley less than a month ago before they had a covid break.
AFC made just one change from the weekend as Chris Lloyd replaced Tom Weale.
Indeed, the visitors were the better side early on, some lively approach play saw them create but subsequently squander a trio of fine chances before Vinny Glaznieks, booked for an early foul on Isa Abraham, caught Luke Edwards late and was shown a second yellow card on the half hour mark.
The home side tried to make the most of their man advantage and produced their best move of the half just before the break. A neat exchange of passes on the right ended with Drew Kear’s cross being stabbed wide at the near post by Sam Lockley.
As expected, AFC began to exert some pressure after the interval, but a dogged GNP side made light of being a man down and made it hard for their hosts. Even when their defence was breached, Sports’ keeper Taylor Davis produced two fine saves at full stretch to deny Weale and Edwards in quick succession.
GNP went in front midway through the half with an entirely avoidable goal from Hinckley’s perspective. Edwards and keeper Matt Hill got into a muddle on the edge of their own area and the ball ran free for Hilton Arther to roll it into an empty net.
But Hinckley levelled with fifteen minutes remaining. Abraham’s pace took him to the left hand byline and he rolled a ball across the face of goal for Weale to score for the fourth consecutive game.
AFC piled on the pressure in the closing moments as they sought a record breaking seventh consecutive league win. Lockley thought he’d scored but a linesman’s flag cut short celebrations and the home side had to settle for a point that takes them up to third in the table.
Hinckley: Hill, Kear, Martin, Giles, Green, L Edwards, Rankin (Gibbs 78), Hoskins, Lockley, Lloyd (Weale 58), Abraham. Subs not used: Bradshaw, Williams, J Edwards.
GNP: Davis, Wright, Atcha, Thompson, Osolmoejiokhian, Stokes (Kavanagh 65), Glaznieks, Kearns, Arther, Murphy (Taylor 77), Fromant (King 52). Subs not used: Swinnerton, Diedhiou.