Impressive Hinckley AFC made it four straight wins, scoring 21 goals in the process, with this latest 5-0 victory over third-placed Cradley Town.
It was a terrific team display from Hinckley capped by some wonderful goals, both collective and individual, that left another healthy crowd of 258 royally entertained.
AFC quickly took control of the game as they went two up inside the opening ten minutes. Lewis Rankin dinked in a cross from the right, Tom Weale intelligently headed the ball back to Brady Middleton whose sweetly struck volley opened the scoring.
Their second soon after was a wonderfully crafted goal but began with Hinckley defending a set piece. Ryan Young, under pressure, did well to claw the ball to the edge of the area, Rankin cleared to Middleton on halfway who did superbly to hold the ball up. He released Danny Fraser on the left flank who spotted the lung busting run from deep of Matt Dawson whose first time finish doubled the lead.
Cradley saw more of the ball as the half developed without seriously troubling the home goal. Their biggest threat was from set plays but when called upon, Young’s handling was faultless.
Hinckley upped the tempo after the break and after Weale’s shot was saved by keeper Nana Frimpong on the line, they quickly put the game to bed. Adam Barber made it three as he lashed home from an acute angle before Preston Bitemo grabbed the goal his assured performance deserved, confidently side-footing the ball into the top corner from 25 yards after Weale and Dawson worked a short corner for a memorable first senior goal.
Midway through the half it was 5-0, the indefatigable Middleton was fouled in the box and Weale stepped up to nonchalantly convert the spot kick.
Hinckley took the opportunity to make some changes, including the welcome return of Harry Walker-Donovan before Cradley were awarded a penalty but Young was determined to keep a clean sheet and did well to keep out Chris Bladen’s spot kick, diving low to his left to preserve his clean sheet and set the seal on a wonderful team performance.
Hinckley: Ryan Young, Matt Dawson, Danny Fraser (Isa Abraham 65), Preston Bitemo, Ky Green, Jack Beasley, Lewis Rankin (Harry Walker-Donovan 75), Tom Weale, Brady Middleton, Declan Somel (Deshon Carty 65), Adam Barber. Subs not used: Shay Durkan, Jack Edwards
Goals: Brady Middleton (6), Matt Dawson (10), Adam Barber (54), Preston Bitemo (58), Tom Weale (65 pen)
Cradley: Nana Frimpong, Harry Edwards, Declan Bibb, Cameron Milne (Daniel Harvey 57), Daniel Hadley, Samuel Smith (Darren Whitley 70), Joshua Marsden (Jake Crackett 57), Jamie Underhill, Jordan Crump, Brad Ward, Umaru Saho (Chris Bladen 46).