Hinckley AFC 4-0 Stapenhill

Four different goalscorers helped Hinckley AFC to a 4-0 win over Stapenhill in the first of two meetings between the sides in two weeks.

Hinckley bossed the first half and led courtesy of Calum Flanagan’s fine goal, but after the break they were indebted to Brandon Bache making a number of fine saves on his return to the side.

They meant he kept a clean sheet, and allowed a pair of late goals to secure victory after Tom Weale’s earlier penalty.

Bache was called upon with Matt Hill unwell, while Flanagan was playing the first of two games back at the club on dual registration with Redditch United. 

Hinckley started brightly, and less than three minutes had passed when Matt Dawson’s shot was beaten away by visiting ‘keeper Paul Hollis.

Hinckley controlled possession through much of the opening 45 minutes but they were missing the final touch or pass to test Hollis more frequently. The ‘keeper saved comfortably from Isa Abraham before the opening goal came after 20 minutes. Hollis reacted well to Riley Davoile’s fierce shot, but Stapenhill failed to properly clear and that allowed Flanagan to fire a first-time half-volley into the top corner from just inside the box.

It gave Hinckley a deserved lead, but it almost didn’t last. Just a couple of minutes later Jake Meakin found himself through on goal but dragged wide, before Bache stood up well to deny Ben Novis in a similar situation 12 minutes later.

At the other end, Jack Edwards put a free header wide when he should have scored to mean Flanagan’s strike was the only difference at the break.

It took just four minutes of the second half for Hinckley to add a second – Abraham’s shot was blocked by the hand of Matt Roome and Weale converted the spot kick.

Rankin and Joe Obi then forced Hollis into saves before Hinckley’s sloppy spell allowed the visitors a period of control and, were it not for Bache, the final result could have been much closer.

Bache’s first save of the half was his best, clawing Harry Lansdowne’s header from a set piece away with an outstretched right paw, before he pushed Connor Richins’ drive onto the bar and denied Oli Roome with his legs.

All that came within 10 minutes, but once Hinckley rode out that spell they regained their composure and added a third with eight minutes to play. It came courtesy of Harry Walker-Donovan, whose teasing free-kick evaded everybody in the box and nestled into the far corner. 

Four minutes later, Walker-Donovan turned provider in a neat exchange of passes with Abraham, who cut inside and bent a trademark strike inside the far post for a fourth.

There was still time for Lewis Rankin to strike the base of the post, but that wasn’t to affect a good afternoon for Hinckley who break from league action with Tuesday’s League Cup semi-final at Highgate United, before facing Stapenhill again next weekend.

Hinckley: Brandon Bache, Matt Dawson, Danny Fraser, Zaki Evans (Declan Somel 82), Calum Flanagan, Joe Obi, Lewis Rankin, Tom Weale (Harry Walker-Donovan 75), Jack Edwards (Joe Cairns 84), Riley Davoile (Preston Bitemo 59), Isa Abraham. Sub not used: Brady Middleton.

Goals: Calum Flanagan (20), Tom Weale (49 pen), Harry Walker-Donovan (82), Isa Abraham (86).

Stapenhill: Paul Hollis, Ronnie Bonser, Lewis Campbell, Harry Lansdowne, Matt Roome, Niall Dawkins (Ashton Frost 79), Cameron Steele (Brad Walsh 84), Jake Meakin, Oli Roome (Brad Wright 77), Connor Richins, Ben Novis. Subs not used: Zac Hill, Cameron Briscoe.

Attendance: 218

picture courtesy Jamie Measom

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