Hinckley AFC’s 100% record at Kirkby Road this season was ended in abrupt fashion as visitors Radford left with a 2-0 win.
AFC had won every game since returning to the ground in November and had an unblemished home record since losing to Hucknall Town in early October.
But they rarely looked like extending that record against Radford as Joe McLaughlin and Solace Uyi-Olaye earned the play-off chasing visitors all three points.
It was also the first time Hinckley had failed to score in back-to-back games for three years – and they could have no complaints after a lacklustre display.
The game started as an even encounter and Hinckley had their best spell of the game in the opening quarter of an hour.
But even then, they only fashioned one chance of note. Isa Abraham caused early problems for David Adegbola, forcing the right back into an early booking, before then cutting inside and seeing a shot from 12 yards well blocked.
That was as good as Hinckley mustered for most of the game, as Radford’s well-organised back line and combative midfield play prevented Hinckley getting close enough to test goalkeeper Yinka Adebowale.
And after that opening spell, Radford took control of the game. Callum Smith headed straight at Matt Hill when well-placed, before the same player then smashed the base of the post after being sent in down the right channel.
But they didn’t have to wait much longer for their opener. A minute later, Smith recycled a set piece and stood the ball up to the far post where giant centre back McLaughlin towered above everyone else to head home.
The second half followed largely the same pattern. Courtney Belford introduced Charlie Evans and Dom Alleyne before the hour but the balance of play still belonged to the visitors, even if Hill was rarely called into action.
Hinckley’s afternoon was epitomised by two well-placed second half free kicks, both of which were hit straight into the wall.
For Radford, Smith spurned a good chance by heading over at the far post, but again they didn’t have to wait long afterwards for another goal as Uyi-Olaye converted Michael Fitzhugh’s deep cross.
Hinckley could have made for an interesting finish in the final minute of normal time, but leading scorer Evans was uncharacteristically hesitant when sent through on goal and Adebowale raced out to smother.
That preserved his clean sheet as the visitors remain fourth and Hinckley have much food for thought ahead of their trip to West Bridgford in ten days’ time.
Hinckley: Matt Hill, Drew Kear, Harry Sawyer, Tyson Knight, Ben Whitehead, Ben Vallance, Lewis Rankin, Tom Weale (Ryan Slinn 70), Ryan Harkin (Dom Alleyne 56), Jack Edwards (Charlie Evans 56), Isa Abraham. Subs not used: Liam Cairns, Jeremie Agholor
Radford: Yinka Adebowale, David Adegbola (Craig Meakin 87), Conor Moore, David Boafo, Joe McLaughlin, Michael Fitzhugh, Jermain Hollis, Gino Kelleher, Callum Smith (Will Bailey 67), Jevin Seaton (Jordan Alls 86), Solace Uyi-Olaye. Subs not used: Kevin Hemagou, Emem Jones
Goals: Joe McLaughlin (37), Solace Uyi-Olaye (72)