Hinckley AFC 1-3 OJM Black Country

Hinckley AFC fell to defeat as in-form OJM Black Country extended their unbeaten run with a 3-1 win at Kirkby Road. 

The visitors have now lost just one of their last 17 games to boost their play-off hopes as Jordon Sangha’s second-half double earned them the three points.

They led at the break through Steven Leslie’s penalty deep into first-half stoppage time, and though Brady Middleton’s strike gave AFC hope at 2-1, the visitors held out for all three points.

Hinckley started the brighter of the sides in the late winter sunshine and, other than when Kofi Williams wasted the best chance when he shot tamely at Matt Hill, the home side had the better of the opening half hour.

Visiting ‘keeper Tom Clapp saved smartly from Matt Dawson before tipping over from Isa Abraham as Hinckley sought the early opener.

Drew Kear then showed great feet on the byline but Clapp saved his shot when Kear could have squared, Clapp also denying Lewis Rankin after his quick feet allowed him a chance to prod goalbound.

As the half wore on, though, OJM grew more into it and after Ky Green headed wide for Hinckley, they threatened when a cross was narrowly too high for the unmarked Sangha.

And they took the lead deep into first-half stoppage time when Hill could only parry Louis Conway’s strike into danger, and Green fouled Reece Morris going for the rebound. Green was unable to continue after the injury in that collision, and Leslie added further misery for Hinckley by converting the penalty.

The visitors took confidence from that and started the second period on top, doubling their lead eight minutes into the second half. Hinckley felt Dec Somel was fouled with them on the attack, but the referee disagreed and OJM quickly broke. Morris scored twice at step four for Shepshed last week, and with their match postponed OJM quickly drafted him to play for them – reaping the benefit when he ran through on goal and squared for Sangha to tap home.

Hinckley made a triple substitution shortly afterwards and that breathed more life into what had been a flat start to the half. Clapp denied one of those substitutes, Tom Weale, with a fingertip save from a header but soon after a set piece fell for Brady Middleton to drill home and halve the deficit.

The momentum was now with AFC as OJM players argued among each about where blame lay for the goal, but though they had plenty of pressure in the next five minutes Hinckley didn’t test Clapp.

And when the visitors regrouped, they restored their advantage thanks to Sangha again, who finished off an excellent team move by firing a smart finish across Hill.

Visiting substitute Eshan Greer then headed over when well-placed, while they were denied a fourth and Sangha a hat-trick by the assistant referee’s flag.

Leslie was sinbinned for his protests at that decision, but OJM defended well to restrict Hinckley while they had ten men. Clapp’s outstretched leg denied Middleton a second via a deflection and Joe Obi headed wide at the far post, but that was as close as Hinckley came to a second as they turn their attention to Monday night’s League Cup quarter-final at home to Romulus.

Hinckley: Matt Hill, Matt Dawson, Drew Kear, Preston Bitemo, Ky Green (Adam Barber 46), Joe Obi, Lewis Rankin (Harry Walker-Donovan 58), Declan Somel (Zaki Evans 88), Brady Middleton, Joe Cairns (Tom Weale 58), Isa Abraham (Jack Edwards 58).

Goal: Brady Middleton (61)

OJM: Tom Clapp, Josh Mussell, Louis Conway, Jaber Ahmed, Stefan Cameron, Callum Nimmo, Jordon Sangha, Liam Spink, Steven Leslie, Reece Morris (Taylor Homer 68), Kofi Williams (Eshan Greer 77). Subs not used: Kyle Moseley, Adam Keough, Aon Abbas.

Goals: Steven Leslie (45+5 pen), Jordon Sangha (53, 66)

Attendance: 214

, , ,