Hinckley AFC recorded a third victory inside eight days with a 3-0 win over Shawbury United at Kirkby Road.
After backs-to-the-wall efforts with ten men in their previous two wins, this was a comfortable afternoon for Hinckley who were in control for large spells against a well-organised Shawbury side.
They never really looked like relinquishing their lead given to them by Lewis Rankin 11 minutes before half time, as Matt Dawson and Adam Barber added second-half goals to secure the win.
Joe Conneely and Courtney Hunter-Belford received a treble boost with their starting eleven as Tom Armitage was fit enough to make his debut, while Sam Walton and Chandler Pegg both made their first starts of the season.
Pegg, though, could only last a quarter of an hour on his return before having to be taken off as his injury-hit start to the season continued.
Both sides’ best early chance came through a volley – Rankin side-footing off target from Danny Fraser’s cross before Brandon Bache pushed wide Seth Ellis’ well-struck effort.
Hinckley were making most of the running and after Mitch Piggon drilled wide, they took the lead on 34 minutes when Dawson drew the ‘keeper and fed Rankin to take a touch and pass home.
After nervy moments in the previous two games, this time it felt like the three points were never in doubt as Hinckley asserted their authority on the second half.
Dawson cut inside but opted to go alone and smashed wide when he might have squared, before visiting ‘keeper Max Williams made a stunning fingertip save to sent Fraser what would have been an equally fine goal.
But Hinckley’s dominance was rewarded with a second just past the hour, when Shawbury’s defence switched off to Joe McNulty’s raking pass and Dawson took advantage with a run from deep and deft first-time lob over the stranded Williams.
Hinckley pushed further and Jack Edwards might have added a third but scuffed wide when well-placed, before he turned provider with an exquisite lofted assist for Adam Barber to take a touch and slot between the Williams’ legs for a third.
Williams made one final flying save to prevent a fourth, tipping over Rankin’s free kick at full stretch, while Bache preserved his first clean sheet of the season by getting down well to hold Bobby Agyemang’s shot and complete a good day’s work for his team.
Hinckley: Brandon Bache, Matt Dawson, Tom Armitage (Adam Barber 76), Harry Walker-Donovan (Jordan Holmes 66), Joe McNulty, Sam Walton (Jack Beasley 88), Lewis Rankin, Josh Clews (Josh Clarke 73), Chandler Pegg (Mitchell Piggon 14), Jack Edwards, Danny Fraser.
Goals: Lewis Rankin (34), Matt Dawson (63), Adam Barber (84)
Shawbury: Max Williams, Liam Taylor, Henry McGowan (Ben Jones 38), David Howells (Denis Agyekum Antwi 87), Jeff Agyeman, Emmanuel Williams, Marcus Dillon, Andrew Haynes (Charlie Beadle 66), Reece Jacobs, Seth Ellis, Cody Rimmer (Bobby Agyemang 78).
picture courtesy of Stuart Whittaker