Hinckley AFC manager Carl Abbott said his side’s 2-0 win over Lichfield City was “a topsy-turvy night” but was pleased with another valuable three points.
It took AFC until the 56th minute to break the deadlock through Sam Agar’s header, with Paul Sullivan doubling the lead deep into stoppage time.
But the second came after what Abbott called a “chaotic” ten minutes, in which Chad Degville-Cross was sent off and Haydn Whitcombe made two superb saves to keep his side ahead.
Abbott said: “We started brightly and we played some good stuff in the first half. We had plenty of the ball, had some chances and had what we felt was a perfectly good goal chalked off.
“We came out again in the second half and controlled the game. We got the goal and heading into the last ten minutes we were looking to sit on what we’d got but the game just descended into chaos.
“We got pegged back a little bit, Haydn made some great saves and then we went and snatched the second on the counter. All in all it was a topsy-turvy night but a valuable three points.”
AFC had a makeshift back four with wingers Degville-Cross and Sean Williams playing as full backs, while regular full backs James Williams and Lee Thomas played in the centre.
“We had a bit of a central defensive crisis tonight. Ryan Paddock’s with the army so he’ll be out for a few weeks, we drafted Francino Francis in again last week but he couldn’t play tonight. Jamal Clarke’s injured, as is Mitchell Tomlinson.
“I knew this yesterday so I had a dilemma of whether to go and do a little bit of business and bring somebody in. But I didn’t really want to do that at this point.
“We thought Lichfield would come here and play one up front and that James would deal with him and that Lee Thomas would do well sweeping.
“We did it in pre-season a little bit with Lee, he played there a few times, but I thought they were both absolutely brilliant tonight and we looked comfortable at the back.
“The last ten minutes were chaotic for a number of reasons, but we got through that. Haydn was brilliant and we move onto the next game now.”
The last two games have seen a return to action, and the scoresheet, for Sullivan. He returned to the fold on Thursday with a goal off the bench against Rocester, and repeated that last night. Abbott said the former Chasetown man is looking as sharp as ever.
“It was a real dent in our season to lose Sully for two and a half months as we did. He waited a long time for his scan, but he had it and he had severe bruising of the knee joint.
“He’s still feeling pain with that but he now knows that the pain is just bruising and he can play through it. His fitness needs a lot of work and we’ll ease him back in gently, but he oozes class and ability.
“We’ve missed him and it was such a shame that we lost him when we did.”