Conneely on “hard-fought” Cup win

Manager Joe Conneely praised his Hinckley AFC side for reaching the League Cup quarter-finals with a “hard-fought” win over Ingles.

Isa Abraham’s double and one for Lewis Collins earned AFC a place in the last eight with a second away win inside four days.

It put Hinckley into the latter stages of the League Cup for the first time since reaching the final six years ago and Conneely said it was a night that brought some different qualities out of his side against a tough opposition who had won their previous five.

He said: “It was a really difficult night.

“We went up the slope in the first half and tried to stay in it as much as we could. They put balls forward and we dealt with it ok but conceded a poor goal before half time.

“We tweaked things a bit at half time, bringing Lewis Collins on and putting Tom Weale back into midfield, and we played well after that.

“We won the ball higher up, we were the better team in the second half and felt we deserved win overall.”

The win means Hinckley are the fourth team to confirm their spot in the last eight, along with Whitchurch Alport, Atherstone Town and Stone Old Alleynians – all sides from the Premier Division.

Conneely says whoever the opponents are, his side will face a tough game but are capable of causing an upset.

“We want to go as far as we can in the cup. It will be a tough draw, most teams left in it are from the league above, so whoever we get we’ll prepare for that.

“If we play well and take our chances, we might be able to cause an upset. A home draw would be nice to give ourselves more of a chance, and ultimately we’re two games from a final.”

The manager was happy with Will Mansfield’s display on debut, slotting in at centre half, and praised Abraham his a two-goal display on his return to the starting 11.

“Isa was a threat all game, and he took his header well in the second half.

“He gets you up the pitch which is key in games like that. He’s in a good place. It’s been a stop-start season for him but we’re getting best out of him now.”

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