Cradley Town 1-5 Hinckley AFC

Hinckley AFC hit their biggest away win since March as five different scorers helped them to a 5-1 win at Cradley Town.

Hinckley made it back-to-back wins on the road and three on the bounce in all with a comprehensive display at Beeches View.

Joe Conneely’s side were 3-0 up by half time and added two more after the break, the only blot on their copybook being Cradley’s second half consolation that denied Brandon Bache a clean sheet.

Conneely made two changes to the side that won at Stapenhill last week as Ben Whitehead made his first start since joining on loan, and Lewis Rankin returned.

And AFC started the brighter on a sunny day in the West Midlands – Rankin’s corner skewed goalbound by a defender and ‘keeper Liam O’Dowd had to be alert to prevent an own goal.

But just four minutes later, Hinckley broke the deadlock. Chandler Pegg and Lewis Collins continued their blossoming forward partnership as the former crossed for the latter to net his second in two games with a clever, deft finish.

Rankin then had a chance to make it two, but took too long when through on goal and O’Dowd saved.

The stopper also beat away Matt Dawson’s effort from the resulting corner but it only took a minute more for Hinckley to double their lead. It came through a spectacular strike from Wilson, who volleyed Rankin’s corner past O’Dowd sweetly.

Hinckley were in control of possession and territory for long spells, though goalkeeper Bache had to be alert to save when Cradley’s Luke Kettle and Chris Bladen both went for a far-post header.

But Hinckley weren’t to let their hosts back in and Rankin added a third before the break with a precise strike from the edge of the box.

And they took that lead into the break, though that was thanks to Josh Agnello shooting off target when unmarked at the far post on the stroke of half time.

Hinckley introduced Reece Jacobs at the interval and the forward quickly forced O’Dowd into a diving save, but much of the half was played at a lower tempo than the first.

And on the hour, Hinckley added a fourth when Dawson’s corner was fumbled into his own net by O’Dowd.

The key target at that stage would have been a clean sheet, but Bache was denied that when he slipped on the ball in his own box and allowed Bladen a tap in.

Bache then had to save from Keegan Horan as Hinckley let their grip slip momentarily, making a host of second half substitutions.

But they recovered it and, after O’Dowd pushed Wilson’s free kick wide, Hinckley added a fifth from the resulting corner when Jacobs powered home a header from Jack Edwards’ set piece.

Jacobs could have added another with the last kick of the game but lofted wide when through one-on-one, but it mattered not as Hinckley notched up another win ahead of Monday’s visit of Haughmond.

Cradley: Liam O’Dowd, Declan Bibb, Mico Ela Mamiaga, Luke Kettle, Darren Whitley, Keegan Horan (David Agyekum 73), Jake Crackett, Cameron Milne (Abdo Said 81), Kaine Butler (Josh Agnello 28 (Beni-Sem Kiomba 67)), Chris Bladen, Kane Harrold (Joe Finch 79).

Goal: Chris Bladen (65)

Hinckley: Brandon Bache, Matt Dawson, Jeremie Agholor, Harry Walker-Donovan (Tom Weale 76), Luke Wilson, Ben Whitehead (Joe McNulty 62), Ben Newport, Lewis Collins (Reece Jacobs 46), Chandler Pegg (Lewis Padmore 69), Lewis Rankin (Fortune Sibanda 59), Jack Edwards.

Goals: Lewis Collins (16), Luke Wilson (21), Lewis Rankin (37), Liam O’Dowd (59, OG), Reece Jacobs (69)

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