Hinckley AFC’s Emirates FA Cup journey ended at the first hurdle as Wolves Casuals came from behind to progress at Kirkby Road.
On a hot summer’s afternoon, it took until the 55th minute for the first goal of the new season as Tarique Hunter put Hinckley ahead on debut against his former side.
But Casuals hit back to level within three minutes, before scoring twice in the final quarter of an hour to go through.
The new-look Hinckley side were taking to the field after a big turnover of players since May’s play-off final. No fewer than ten players made their debuts for the club in the match, seven of them starting.
Both sides took time to settle into the game, with chances at a premium in the first half. Hinckley’s build up play was neat, but lacking in the final ball – and their best chance came when James Reid headed straight at Ryan Cheshire.
The visitors, meanwhile, were quick on the break and had the best chance of the half in its final minute – Josh Hesson raced through on goal but scuffed his shot wide with just Brandon Bache to beat.
Hinckley made a change at the break, introducing Alex Davies, and it nearly paid immediate dividends. With his first touch he had a sight of goal but dragged wide.
Reid then shot into the side netting as Hinckley started the second half brightly, and they got their rewards ten minutes after the break. It was a fine strike from Hunter, who took one touch to control a loose ball outside the box before unleashing a clean strike into the top corner.
But they couldn’t hold their lead. Just three minutes later, Adam Garmson was left in space to nod home Josh Simcox’s pinpoint cross.
With parity restored, both ‘keepers had to make smart saves to keep it as such. Cheshire pushed over from Jeremie Agholor, while Bache denied Hesson at his near post.
But it was third time lucky for Hesson as Casuals’ number ten gave his side the lead for the first time with a superb overhead kick after Hinckley failed to clear their lines.
The challenge was now Hinckley’s to break down a resilient Casuals defence, but the visitors held firm and ensured Cheshire wasn’t tested further.
And they got their rewards in stoppage time when, with Hinckley piling men forward, they broke and another fine Simcox cross was met by Matt Hearsey to send Wolves through to the next round and leave Hinckley to focus on their Division One campaign that starts on Tuesday away to Dudley Town.
Hinckley: Brandon Bache, Tarique Hunter (Harry Walker-Donovan 63), Jeremie Agholor, Jack Beasley (Alex Davies 46), Luke Wilson, Joe McNulty, Perri McCullough, James Reid (Fortune Sibanda 63), Emile Beckford, Lewis Rankin, Lewis Collins. Subs not used: Ryan Slinn, Sam Chalkley, Kai Gibbs, Lewis Padmore
Goal: Tarique Hunter (55)
Wolves: Ryan Cheshire, Josh Simcox, Marcus Beckford (Jack Snoddy 78), Jordan Spragg, Joe Clarke, Nathaniel Graham, Matt Hearsey, Josh Smith (Jack Male 85), Adam Garmson, Josh Hesson, Taimoor Hussain (Alessandro Pierpoint 58). Subs not used: Rhyce Brown, Ben Novis
Goals: Adam Garmson (58), Josh Hesson (75), Matt Hearsey (93)