Chandler Pegg and Joe Obi both scored twice as Hinckley AFC leapfrogged OJM Black Country in the table with a comprehensive 4-0 win over their play-off rivals.
Pegg and Obi each scored in both halves to extend Hinckley’s winning run to six straight league games in the spring sunshine in the West Midlands.
And it was a win that the visitors fully deserved, having restricted the home side to not having a shot on target and clinically converting the chances that came their way.
On a bouncy, bobbly pitch, Hinckley adapted to conditions from the off and went ahead inside three minutes. Danny Fraser’s free-kick was headed across goal by Sam Walton, and Pegg was on hand to convert at the far post.
It was Pegg’s 25th of the season since joining in late September and the travelling support made good noise to celebrate it under the covered stand behind the goal.
Given the pitch, the game was always likely to have limited goalmouth action and Hinckley’s early lead proved crucial.
OJM forced pressure with a series of corners as they looked to level, but nothing came of them and Hinckley had the three best chances of the first period.
The second of those chances flew over the bar when Jack Edwards volleyed off-target after the home side failed to clear Tom Weale’s free kick, but they soon doubled their lead ten minutes before the break. Adam Keough’s header back to his ‘keeper was weak, and Obi nipped in to lob the stranded Connor Hopkins.
Black Country were always likely to pile on the pressure at the start of the second half, and had their best chance of it after just two minutes but Sam Walton blocked from Jack Arnold.
The good number of travelling Hinckley fans piled onto the grass bank behind the top goal after half time, and were rewarded with a perfect view of two more goals inside ten minutes.
AFC extended their lead when Hopkins could only parry Weale’s free kick and Obi was on hand to slam home the rebound.
And the cheers from that had barely died down when Pegg was tripped by David Meese in the box, and dusted himself down to send Hopkins the wrong way from the spot.
Even with 35 minutes to go, Hinckley were content to keep the ball well and maintain their clean sheet which was only momentarily threatened when Callum Nimmo headed a corner over the bar.
Indeed, Hinckley came closest to adding the game’s fifth goal – first when Danny Fraser’s spectacular 30-yarder dropped inches too high, or when Adam Barber’s pair of late close-range headers both went wide.
Regardless, it was a superb win for Hinckley and the applause between travelling fans and players at full time showed it was an away day to savour for the visitors.
OJM: Connor Hopkins, Brian Smikle, Babucar Sauane, Jaber Ahmed (Scott Devlin 75), Callum Nimmo, David Meese, Bakai Manneh (Kieran Francis 65), Jack Arnold (Rabab Ali 62), Casey Collins, Dylan Green, Adam Keough (Stefan Cameron 58).
Hinckley: Brandon Bache, Matt Dawson, Danny Fraser, Jack Edwards, Joe McNulty (Jack Beasley 26), Sam Walton, Harry Walker-Donovan (Adam Barber 75), Tom Weale, Joe Obi (Lewis Collins 53), Chandler Pegg, Isa Abraham (Sam Ellis 65).
Goals: Chandler Pegg (3, 54), Joe Obi (39, 50)