A strong second half saw Hinckley AFC complete a resounding 6-2 victory at Shawbury United to move them back up to fourth on a day when they were the only side in the top six to win.
And yet such a win seemed a distant prospect as AFC laboured for much of the first half and were a little fortunate to be ahead at the break.
But the introduction of Isa Abraham changed the game and Hinckley dominated the second half to run out comfortable winners.
After Brandon Bache made a fabulous save early on, tipping over Josh Thomas’ shot, Hinckley went ahead on twelve minutes. Jack Beasley was fouled 20 yards from goal and Tom Weale’s precise free kick nestled in the bottom corner.
But Hinckley failed to build on that early goal. Shawbury kept them on the defensive for much of the half and it was no surprise when the home side levelled on the half hour as Ryan Pryce squeezed his header home at the far post.
As the game was drifting towards half time, Hinckley regained the lead with their best move of the half. A clever exchange of passes between Joe Obi and Chandler Pegg led to the former Atherstone man converting his second in two games for the club.
The half time appearance of Abraham gave AFC a different attacking dimension and almost paid immediate dividends as he went racing clear of the home defence before blazing over. But although that chance went begging, it served notice of Hinckley’s improvement.
After a lengthy delay following a clash of heads between Beasley and former Hinckley favourite Marco Addagio led to both players leaving the pitch, AFC took control of the game. Obi scored his second of the afternoon with a real touch of class. He picked up a loose ball 25 yards from goal, his close control of the bobbling ball was exceptional as he beat his man on his way into the box before applying a neat finish.
Abraham then took centre stage. He used his pace to good effect as he received Jack Edwards’ pass to go sprinting clear of the defence to finish before adding his second shortly after, a poacher’s effort this time as he converted a loose ball after Weale’s inswinging free kick from the left caused chaos in the home defence.
Abraham seemed destined to complete a quickfire hat-trick as he again bore down on goal with only the keeper to beat, but he was clipped from behind for a penalty and Pegg stepped up to score from the spot.
Pegg and Luke Francis also had shots stopped on the line before the hosts grabbed a consolation in time added on when Joe Cuff scored.
But it couldn’t take the shine off a rampant second half for Hinckley making their longest journey of the season all the more worthwhile.
Shawbury: Sheridan Smith, Jason Harris, James Bennett-Tindall, Lee Rogers, Tyrell McFarlane, Ryan Pryce, Josh Thomas (Harry Woodburn 78), Evander Bagry (Dylan Glendenning 68), Marco Addagio (Danar Saber 58), Joe Thomas, Joe Cuff. Sub not used: Dan Pilkington.
Goals: Ryan Pryce (30), Joe Cuff (90)
Hinckley: Brandon Bache, Matt Dawson, Danny Fraser, Jack Edwards (Harry Walker-Donovan 74), Jack Beasley (Joe McNulty 58), Sam Walton, Sam Ellis, Tom Weale, Joe Obi (Lewis Rankin 78), Chandler Pegg (Luke Francis 83), Lewis Collins (Isa Abraham 46).
Goals: Tom Weale (12), Joe Obi (41, 63), Isa Abraham (72, 80), Chandler Pegg (83 pen)