Hinckley AFC joint manager Joe Conneely admitted it was “one of those days” as his side saw their long unbeaten run come to an end at the hands of Ingles.
AFC’s unbeaten league record stretched back to late September but they failed to score for the first time this season against an Ingles side who moved up to second.
They hit the post, had a goal disallowed and forced Ingles goalkeeper Lorcan Morrissey into a series of fine saves as they huffed and puffed but couldn’t blow the visitors’ house down.
And Conneely admitted it was a game where the ball just wouldn’t go in. He said: “”We could be out here until tomorrow, I don’t think we’d have scored!
“Firstly, massive credit to Ingles, who started brightly. We warned the boys that they’d start well and we were really poor for 10 minutes, we didn’t work hard enough and didn’t pick up spare men in a diamond. We got punished for it.
“After that we’ve huffed and puffed and did absolutely everything in our power to score but haven’t managed to. Against the diamond, width is so key. We got the ball wide a lot but our quality wasn’t good enough, which wasn’t like us. We score plenty of goals from wide areas and it was a bad day for us in front of goal but we can’t be perfect every week.”
Despite having the majority of the play, Hinckley were punished for that slow start as Ingles scored the only goal of the game after 11 minutes. Conneely said his side’s sluggish openings to game is becoming a concern.
“We warned them about a fast start, we were against the wind in the first half and we couldn’t get out for 10 minutes. The two centre-forwards were a handful but they didn’t create a lot after the first 10 minutes.
“That’s three (slow starts) in a row now. So maybe there’s more we need to do beforehand to get boys going and starting more on the front foot.”
He felt Hinckley couldn’t have done much more to win the game, and after seeing their long winning and scoring runs come to an end, admitted he isn’t fussed about them as long as they achieve their end-of-season goals.
“I don’t care about runs and records, we’re here to try and win a league. We’ve set records in the past and not got promoted, we’re still here for a reason so we’ve got to change that.
“We’ve always been brilliant in November and December, now we’re clawing in, we’re 13 games from the end and there’s pressure to stay at the top.
“We went to their place a few weeks ago and did a job on them, now they came here and did a job on us. We like being at home but teams like coming here. A 3G pitch, a big crowd in, teams come here and give a bit more and Ingles did that and deserved to win.”