Hinckley AFC completed a seasonal double as they earned a 3-2 victory at Stapenhill in a game that had echoes of the reverse fixture in August.
On that occasion at Kirkby Road, Stapenhill took a two goal lead before seeing it overturned by Hinckley, whilst this time, AFC raced into a two goal advantage before the home side levelled with two quick goals but Chandler Pegg’s second of the afternoon ensured Hinckley prevailed again.
Pegg’s acquisition is a shrewd one. He clearly has a good eye for goal and came up with a couple of clinical finishes that proved the difference and was only denied a hat-trick by the width of a post.
Tom Weale made a welcome first start of the season in the centre of defence and this side had a much better balance to it. They still looked to pass the ball at every opportunity but weren’t afraid to go a little more direct at times.
And it was no surprise when they went in front inside ten minutes. Pegg served notice of what was to follow as he worked himself an opening on the inside left channel and when his shot came back off a post, Lewis Collins netted the rebound.
Hinckley soon went two up, an attack looked to have broken down but Matt Dawson recovered it and drove in a right wing cross that Pegg did well to steer home.
AFC seemed well in control, but the home side got right back into it with two goals in as many minutes on the half hour mark. Jude Ayetine got in behind the visiting defence to produce a neat finish and the home fans had barely finished celebrating when they were on their feet again as Luke Wilson, in attempting to clear a fizzed in cross from the right, could only divert the ball into his own net.
That put a totally different complexion on the half time team talks and the second half wasn’t quite so open. Hinckley continued to keep possession without creating much of note whilst Stapenhill looked to hit them on the counter.
The destiny of the points was decided by a moment midway through the second half. George Teeney raced through on goal but with only Brandon Bache to beat, he hesitated too long. Harry Walker-Donovan timed his saving tackle to perfection and the chance was gone.
It was a crucial intervention, play quickly switched to the other end, and Pegg showed his opposite number how to do it, a superb composed finish as he drilled the ball into the bottom corner of the net to earn the victory.
As the game drew to a conclusion, the home side lost their discipline and ended the match with nine men. Ayetine was sinbinned before Charlie Rumin received his second yellow after a dust-up with Isa Abraham who was also booked.
So, a first away win of the season for Joe Conneely’s men who have a rare midweek off before a trip to Cradley next Saturday.
Stapenhill: Paul Hollis, Oliver Palmer, Lewis Campbell, Harry Lansdowne, Matt Roome, Charlie Rumin, Niall Dawkins (Sam Mountain 65), Cameron Steele, George Teeney, Jude Ayetine, Tommy Hill. Subs not used: Cameron Briscoe, Jayden Douglas, Jamie Faxon.
Goals: Jude Ayetine (29), Luke Wilson (30 OG).
Hinckley: Brandon Bache, Matt Dawson, Jeremie Agholor, Chris Camwell (Lewis Rankin 57), Luke Wilson, Ben Newport (Reece Jacobs 67), Harry Walker-Donovan, Tom Weale, Chandler Pegg (Isa Abraham 80), Jack Edwards, Lewis Collins. Subs not used Adam Barber, Ben Whitehead.
Goals: Lewis Collins (10), Chandler Pegg (22, 57).