Hinckley AFC marked the club’s 10th anniversary with a confident 4-0 win over Coventry Copsewood played in front of a new club-record crowd for a regular league fixture.
In the week that Hinckley’s existence turned past a decade, the top-of-the-table AFC side turned on the style in the second half in a confident win in front of a 390-strong attendance.
At one stage, it felt like missed chances would be the story for a third consecutive week, after two penalties went begging with the score at 1-0.
But once Hinckley doubled their lead the result wasn’t in doubt – Lewis Rankin added to Isa Abraham’s opener before Ky Green and Jack Edwards added gloss to the scoreline late on.
Hinckley started brightly but the first half was a bitty affair with both sides conceding possession more easily than their coaching staff would have liked.
But Hinckley took the lead after 19 minutes, when Matt Dawson got to the byline and drove a low cross into the box which Abraham turned home from barely a yard out.
Copsewood reacted well to going behind, and their best spell of the game came in the final 10 minutes of the first half. Their leading scorer Sean Kavanagh forced Matt Hill to get down quickly and save, before Green’s fine recovery denied Kavanagh a shot and Brad Taylor scuffed a header when well-placed.
But Hinckley had the chance to round off the half in perfect style in stoppage time. Green won a header from a free-kick, and Copsewood ‘keeper Olly Manuel fouled Jack Edwards and Brady Middleton as they went for the loose ball. With regular spot-kicker Tom Weale unavailable, Rankin took the penalty, but Manuel made amends with a superb fingertip save.
In the second half, Hinckley moved the ball crisply and with more purpose, and came close to a second six minutes into the half when Edwards’ header forced a smart save from Manuel.
Middleton twice went close before Hinckley were awarded a second penalty on the hour, Abraham tripped by Ryan Pedley in the box. This time Dawson stepped up, but blasted his penalty wide to leave Weale knowing that his position as penalty taker isn’t under immediate threat.
After missing countless chances in the defeat to Ingles a fortnight ago and hitting the woodwork four times at Chelmsley last weekend, you wondered if it was going to be another frustrating afternoon for Hinckley.
But they put any nerves to bed in the final quarter of the game – initially when Manuel denied Middleton with a reaction save but Abraham picked up the loose ball and squared for Rankin to double the lead.
Manuel then saved from Obi and Middleton rounded the ‘keeper but fired into the side netting as Hinckley pressed for more goals.
And two of them came in the final 10 minutes. Green grabbed the third, slamming home a loose ball following Joe Cairns’ free-kick, before Cairns was involved in the fourth too, proving a nuisance for Miles McIntyre which allowed Edwards to run on to a high ball and slide under the ‘keeper to complete a fine afternoon for Hinckley.
Hinckley: Matt Hill, Matt Dawson, Drew Kear, Preston Bitemo, Ky Green, Joe Obi, Lewis Rankin (Joe Cairns 79), Zaki Evans (Declan Somel 58), Brady Middleton (Harry Walker-Donovan 84), Jack Edwards, Isa Abraham (Adam Barber 70). Sub not used: Riley Davoile.
Goals: Isa Abraham (19), Lewis Rankin (67), Ky Green (83), Jack Edwards (88).
Copsewood: Olly Manuel, Ryan Pedley, Joe Anthony, Jean-Patrick Gomez (Jake Upton 63), Miles McIntyre, Jamie Tiff, Charlie Gordon (Harvey Billing 81), Brad Taylor (Will Boden 74), Sean Kavanagh (Sebastian Duffy 63), Sam Ellis (Jack Thomas 79), Eden Mukenge.