Hinckley AFC 4-1 Bilston Town

Hinckley AFC lifted the Midland League Division One title following a 4-1 win over Bilston Town in their final home game of the season.

Hinckley secured the title last week and marked the celebrations in style with a confident win over Bilston. 

For the second time this season, Hinckley broke their club-record attendance for a regular league fixture as more than 400 people watched on at Kirkby Road.

And afterwards, they were treated to the title celebrations as their side lifted the Division One trophy to round off a memorable season at home.

It took just three minutes for Hinckley to break the deadlock, and the opening goal came in comical fashion. Bilston ‘keeper Joe Gilbert and defender Ben Kendrick collided on the edge of their own box, allowing Tom Weale the simplest of tap ins to put his side ahead.

Kendrick’s afternoon would end shortly after because of the effects of the clash, as his return to his former club ended swiftly.

And Hinckley, while not at their fluent best, were in control for much of the half – going close to a second when Matt Dawson fired wide and Dec Somel also struck off-target.

Bilston’s best spell of the half came towards the end of it – substitute Harreson Clarke forced Matt Hill to tip wide before heading over from the resulting corner, Hill also saving from Ethan Pearce shortly before the break.

As in the first period, Hinckley flew put of the traps and netted within three minutes. This one needed no help from the visiting defence, as Rankin bent home a sublime free-kick from 30 yards to double the lead.

And they added a third on the hour when substitute Riley Davoile’s shot took a deflection, which wrong-footed Gilbert and trickled over the line despite the ‘keeper getting a hand to it.

As in the first half, Bilston grew stronger as it wore on. Substitute Adam Nazir was their biggest threat – his well-struck effort flew narrowly over before heading over the bar when well-placed and then forcing Hill to save.

And he eventually got his reward when he sent Hill the wrong way from the penalty spot with four minutes to play. 

But, deservedly, it was Hinckley who had the final say with the team move of the match – Josh Beeson flicked James Bryson’s header into the path of Chandler Pegg, whose inch-perfect cross allowed Davoile to calmly slot home his second of the match in stoppage time and add the icing to a memorable afternoon for everyone involved with Hinckley.

The players then emerged to receive their medals, before captain Danny Fraser and Dave Gunn lifted the trophy in front of the jubilant supporters who stayed behind to celebrate with the team.

Hinckley: Matt Hill, Matt Dawson, Adam Barber (Danny Fraser 64), Preston Bitemo (Harry Walker-Donovan 76), Ky Green, James Bryson, Lewis Rankin (Chandler Pegg 76), Tom Weale (Josh Beeson 60), Jack Edwards (Riley Davoile 46), Declan Somel, Isa Abraham.

Goals: Tom Weale (3), Lewis Rankin (47), Riley Davoile (59, 91)

Bilston: Joe Gilbert, Ethan Peck, Aaron Weston, Mitchell Evans, Ben Kendrick (Harreson Clarke 9), Haydn Hall, Eesa Sawyers (Adam Nazir 56), Joe Scriven (Daniel Allden-Joseph 80), Soms Sibanda (Adam Titmus 68), Dan Danks, Ethan Pearce.

Goal: Adam Nazir (86 pen)

Attendance: 419

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