Coventry Copsewood 1-4 Hinckley AFC

Two goals in each half saw Hinckley AFC overcome the freezing conditions and Coventry Copsewood to extend their winning run to eight games.

In the only game on grass to survive the weather in Division One, Hinckley made the most of their opportunity with the ideal away performance in the conditions.

Brady Middleton scored once in each half with Tom Weale and Joe Cairns also on the scoresheet, only a stoppage-time consolation denying them a clean sheet and a perfect afternoon.

Having spent much of this season up front, Weale moved to centre-back in Ky Green’s absence and formed a solid partnership with Jack Beasley at Allard Way.

The Baltic temperatures were never likely to allow for a free-flowing game, but Hinckley made the most of the chances they created while restricting Copsewood’s efforts at the other end.

It took until the midway point of the first half for the first real chance, and it brought Hinckley’s opening goal as Weale’s free-kick picked out Middleton, who looped his header over the ‘keeper.

Danny Fraser then stabbed wide with only Nathan Pearce to beat and, when Fraser picked out Cairns a couple of minutes later, the latter was brought down in the box by Pearce and Weale kept his cool from 12 yards.

Hinckley kept up their control after the break and, after Middleton tackled Pearce in the box and saw the ball trickle narrowly wide, AFC added a third just before the hour. Another Weale set piece ran right across the face of goal, where Cairns slid home on the far post for his first goal since returning to the club.

Cairns then lofted one over from eight yards before Copsewood’s first real chance came midway through the second half. Sean  Kavanagh ran through on goal and was denied by Matt Hill, with Kavanagh’s rebound forcing a fine goalline clearance from the recovering Weale.

And Hinckley added the icing to the cake in stoppage time with a rapid counter attack that saw Isa Abraham feed Middleton to take one touch and bury a clinical strike past Pearce.

Copsewood had the last laugh when Kavanagh’s smart finish denied Hill a first clean sheet since his return, but it was Hinckley’s afternoon as they secured a first win away to Copsewood since 2017.

Copsewood: Nathan Pearce, Sam Ellis, Danny Lole (Joe Anthony 75), Miles McIntyre, Craig Civzelis (Jamie Tiff 83), Jake Upton (Adam Civzelis 79), Charlie Gordon, Jean Patrick Gomes (Harvey Wells 65), Bryan Kohyrelon (Sean Kavanagh 61), Sam Ellis, Ryan Pedley.

Goal: Sean Kavanagh (93)

Hinckley: Matt Hill, Matt Dawson, Danny Fraser, Preston Bitemo (Zaki Evans 72), Tom Weale, Jack Beasley, Lewis Rankin, Joe Cairns (Isa Abraham 79), Brady Middleton, Jack Edwards, Deshon Carty. Subs not used: Harry Walker-Donovan, Shay Durkan.

Goals: Brady Middleton (23, 90), Tom Weale (35 pen), Joe Cairns (58)

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