Tom Weale inspired a return to winning ways in the league for Hinckley as he grabbed a hat trick in an eventful 5-2 win against a youthful and athletic Paget Rangers.
The talismanic midfielder grabbed a couple as Hinckley took a two goal advantage into the break, but appeared to have lost his chance to claim the match ball when his second half penalty was saved.
He wasn’t to be denied, though, and his late inswinging free kick capped another superb display from Weale.
He was quickly involved in the action, a neat exchange of passes in the box with Lewis Rankin ended when Weale’s shot was smothered by Reece Johnson in the home goal before he struck on fifteen minutes to give AFC the lead.
It was a lead that lasted barely two minutes as Tobias Marshall levelled it up with a really well taken goal that he steered home inside the far post.
Parity reflected a well contested opening to the game, but as the half developed, Hinckley began to get on top and after Rankin missed a glorious chance, they scored a couple of goals to establish a lead at the break. Weale converted a spot kick after Danny Fraser was fouled before he turned provider, finding Brady Middleton whose powerful surge took him to the edge of the area before producing a clinical finish.
The second half was a much more low key affair with little action of note until home keeper Johnson made a stunning save to keep out Isa Abraham’s effort.
But respite for Paget was brief as they could only clear the resulting corner to Danny Fraser who returned the ball into the area for Matt Dawson to rifle home Hinckley’s fourth.
Again, Paget responded quickly as referee Nicholas Grey awarded them a penalty when he spotted an infringement in a crowded area from a corner and Jonathan Millenchip scored from the spot.
Hinckley fans had flashbacks to the game at Cradley when they surrendered a 4-1 lead, anxiety that increased when Weale saw his penalty saved by Johnson who then made a even better stop to keep out the rebound.
Fittingly it was Weale – who else? – that had the final word as his inswinging free kick from wide on the left flank eluded attacker and defender alike to nestle in the far corner and secure the points.
Paget: Reece Johnson, Kallum Powell, Jude Malsbury (Harry Parker 46), Joseph Lowe, Donald Egbon, Lateef Giwa, Nathan Weir, Fahme Ibrahim (Delcio Neto 55), Tobias Marshall (Dejon Miles 64), Jonathan Millenchip, Panashe Kanyuchi (Anthony Umoh 46). Sub not used: Gevick Lusamba.
Goals: Tobias Marshall (18), Jonathan Millenchip (74 pen)
Hinckley: Ryan Young, Matt Dawson, Tom Armitage, Zak Evans (Preston Bitemo 68), Ky Green, Jack Beasley, Danny Fraser, Tom Weale, Brady Middleton (Isa Abraham 64), Lewis Rankin (Jack Edwards 73), Adam Barber. Sub not used: Sam Walton.
Goals: Tom Weale (15, 32 pen, 88), Brady Middleton (36), Matt Dawson (71)