Sutton United 1-4 Hinckley AFC

Hinckley AFC completed a superb Easter weekend with eight goals and six points following a 4-1 win over Sutton United.

For the fourth consecutive game, it was the second half display that earned Hinckley the points – they have now won their last four matches without leading at half time in any of them.

Jack Edwards, Preston Bitemo and Joe Obi all scored after the break in the spring sunshine at Coleshill Road, after Joe Gildea had equalised Ky Green’s early opener.

Hinckley started brightly, and led inside two minutes. Green flicked a long throw up in the air, and took advantage of hesitancy in the defence to get on the end of his own header and score from close range.

It was the ideal start from Hinckley, and they had the better of the play for much of the half but without creating too many chances. Sutton ‘keeper Kieran Hart raced out quickly to save from Brady Middleton, while he also pushed wide a Tom Weale free-kick.

But the closest Hinckley came to a second was six minutes before the break, when Hart dallied on a clearance and struck it against Edwards eight yards out – who was unfortunate that the ball bounced inches over.

And Sutton equalised with their first real chance two minutes before half time. Gildea, the league’s second highest goalscorer, was left unmarked on the penalty spot to finish neatly first time from a right-wing cross.

Hinckley made a double change at the break, introducing Lewis Rankin and debutant Josh Beeson, and they reaped instant rewards with two goals inside the first eight second-half minutes.

First, Matt Dawson got to the byline and drilled one across goal for Edwards to chest home his fifth goal in three games.

And just four minutes later, Kye Billingham-Belle was caught on the ball inside his own box by Preston Bitemo, whose precise left-footed finish was his second goal of the season.

Hinckley kept pushing, and Beeson was inches away from a spectacular debut goal when his effort from the corner of the box crashed off the bar. Hart also saved from Dawson while Tion Pearce-Copeland made a couple of smart last-ditch tackles inside the box to prevent shots.

But Sutton felt they were never out of the game at 3-1, and had their best spell of the game with a quarter of an hour to go. Gildea headed wide and Matt Hill was forced to push wide from Leyton Hines at his near post after a quick counter.

Hinckley rode out that spell, and finished the stronger. Harry Walker-Donovan’s first touch after coming on as a substitute was to force Hart into a diving save, before Obi added a fourth, taking in Dawson’s pass and touching past his man before finishing.

He almost added a second in stoppage time with a six-yard effort that was straight at Hart, but it was another impressive win for Hinckley who extend their lead at the top heading into Saturday’s Leicestershire derby at Heather St John’s.

Sutton: Kieran Hart, Will Jones (Connor Passey 60), Alex O’Keefe (Charlie Busst 60), Matt Bishop (Sef Semlali 87), Tion Pearce-Copeland, Kye Billingham-Belle, Pete Weston (Mark Moore 63), Jon Grigg, Joe Gildea, Tom Massey, Leyton Hines.

Goal: Joe Gildea (43)

Hinckley: Matt Hill, Matt Dawson, Danny Fraser (Josh Beeson 46), Preston Bitemo, Ky Green, James Bryson, Zaki Evans (Riley Davoile 35), Tom Weale (Joe Obi 69), Brady Middleton (Lewis Rankin 46), Jack Edwards (Harry Walker-Donovan 85), Adam Barber.

Goals: Ky Green (2), Jack Edwards (49), Preston Bitemo (53), Joe Obi (88)

Attendance: 287

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