Hinckley began the new year as they ended the old one with another display of attacking football that’s seen them record ten goals in their two games over Christmas to strengthen third place in the table.
They took control of the game early on against Paget and created a series of chances, striking the woodwork three times in addition to the trio of goals they scored.
The home defence struggled to contain AFC in the early stages as Tom Weale’s set piece delivery and Isa Abraham’s searing pace caused them problems. Indeed, two defenders were booked for fouls on the pacy winger and those early yellows would cost Paget later in the game.
After an early Weale free kick caused a melee in the six yard box and Lewis Collins saw an effort drift inches wide, Hinckley went in front inside ten minutes. Weale delivered another tantalising free kick into the danger zone and Collins converted from close range.
Five minutes later and AFC went further ahead, a cross shot from Matt Dawson took a heavy deflection and Chandler Pegg leapt to guide his header home.
It was all Hinckley, but shortly after Abraham curled a shot wide of the far post, Rangers got back into it with their first attack of the game as Harry Jackson’s precise shot from the edge of the area nestled in the bottom corner.
That goal lifted the hosts and they might have drawn level when the unmarked Leslie Omorodion couldn’t hit the target after good work on the right flank from Delcio Neto.
But as half time approached, Hinckley came on strong again and Sam Walton was unlucky as he twice struck the bar within a couple of minutes.
The tempo dropped a little after the break, Paget had a couple of chance to get level. Harry Parker shot wide after a great run by Kallum Powell and Alec Hill beat away Omorodion’s shot but Rangers were dealt a blow midway through the half when Ryan Kimberley received his second yellow card for fouling Abraham again and the hosts were down to ten men.
Hinckley strove to make their man advantage count, Jack Edwards’ shot was cleared off the line and Pegg saw an effort tipped over before they sealed the points with five minutes remaining. Paget were awarded a free kick inside Hinckley’s half and gambled by allowing keeper Tommy Doyle to take it, his delivery was cleared to Abraham who took the ball beyond halfway and shot for goal – and though the desperately backpedalling Doyle got a hand to it, he couldn’t prevent the ball crossing the line to wrap up the win.
There was still time for Danny Fraser to hit the bar but it mattered not as Hinckley made it seven wins from their last eight as they prepare to welcome league leaders Dudley Town on Saturday.
Paget: Tommy Doyle, Kallum Powell (Oliver Gethin 75), Jamie Hyland, Ryan Kimberley, Dominic Ellington, Harry Parker (Jamie Smith 60), Harry Jackson (Max Turner 75), Louie Newbold, Leslie Omorodion, Ryan Butler, Delcio Neto (Tim Oyanda 60). Sub not used: Jevani Robinson.
Goal: Harry Jackson (23)
Hinckley: Alec Hill, Matt Dawson, Danny Fraser, Jack Edwards, Joe McNulty, Sam Walton (Jack Beasley 57), Harry Walker-Donovan (Jeremie Agholor 75), Tom Weale, Chandler Pegg, Lewis Collins (Ben Newport 64), Isa Abraham. Subs not used: Fortune Sibanda, Lewis Rankin.
Goals: Lewis Collins (9), Chandler Pegg (14), Isa Abraham (85)