After the high of beating Droitwich on Saturday, Hinckley AFC were brought crashing back down with a resounding bump as they slumped to a 3-1 defeat against Heather St John’s.
They could have no complaints, they were lacklustre throughout with no tempo to their game against an impressive Heather side who defended resolutely to curb AFC’s attacking threat whilst up front, Kyle Jardine was a threat all game and he took advantage of some shaky defending to bag a couple of goals.
The first half was an even, if somewhat low key, affair. Both keepers made outstanding saves as George Baker pushed aside Harry Walker-Donovan’s well struck shot and at the other end, Brandon Bache was at full stretch to tip over Tom Mangan’s strike from the edge of the box.
Hinckley made a double change at the break to try and inject some life into their display and it quickly had an effect as they took the lead seven minutes after the break. Mitch Piggon used his strength to hold off his man before laying the ball into the path of Johnny Johnston who slotted home his second in as many games from close range.
But far from providing the springboard for a home win, the goal inspired the visitors and they levelled soon after. Hinckley’s defence got into an awful tangle in dealing with a long ball on the edge of their own area, and Jardine nipped in between them to lob home.
Lewis Rankin shot over from close range, but Hinckley’s opportunities were rare and midway through the half they were made to pay as Jardine grabbed his second, a towering header from Kian Taylor’s inviting cross from the left.
The home side huffed and puffed, but the visitors defended well when they had to and keeper Baker didn’t have a save to make before Heather sealed the points late on. Another excellent delivery from Taylor, this time from a corner, was powered home by Jack Hession to make it two wins from two for Heather, leaving much for Joe Conneely and Courtney Hunter-Belford to consider before Saturday’s trip to Bilston.
Hinckley: Brandon Bache, Matt Dawson, Danny Fraser, Preston Bitemo, Ben Whitehead, Joe McNulty, Harry Walker-Donovan, Jordan Holmes (Lewis Rankin 46), Mitch Piggon (Adam Barber 72), Josh Clews (Tom Parker 46 [Josh Clarke 75]), Johnny Johnston. Sub not used: Jack Beasley
Goal: Johnny Johnston (53)
Heather: George Baker, Kai Thomas, Kian Taylor, Jacob Sturgess, Jake McIntosh, Tommy Read (Will Fox 85), George Ludlam (Ashwayne Tucker 65), Jack Hession, Kyle Jardine, Tom Managan, Jack Coles. Subs not used: Max Dutton, Tyler Williamson, Ryan Dowling, Josh Warren