Hinckley AFC completed the first half of their Easter double successfully as they claimed their tenth successive win with victory over Chelmsley Town at Pack Meadow.
As at Coton Green on Monday, Hinckley had the points secured by the break as they took a four goal lead into the interval with Chandler Pegg bagging a hat-trick to continue his remarkable season.
Pegg now has 34 league goals for the season, five ahead of his nearest challenger for the divisional Golden Boot, a superb effort considering he didn’t join the club until the end of September.
Mindful of the hectic schedule, Joe Conneely shuffled the pack again, giving Robbie Bunn his league debut and his vision and range of passing were telling factors in Hinckley’s first half dominance.
Bunn had an early effort deflected narrowly wide before Hinckley went in front on ten minutes. It was a well crafted goal that ended with Bunn’s pass for Sam Ellis to guide a precise shot home from the edge of the area, just inside the far post.
The visitors continued to pile on the pressure and increased their lead shortly after as Pegg grabbed his first of the afternoon from the penalty spot after he was fouled in the area.
Pegg was inches away from finishing the best move of the half, Bunn and Lewis Rankin linking for Pegg whose shot struck the inside of a post before he added his second just beyond the half hour mark. It was all his own work as he dispossessed Corey Solomon on the left flank before cutting inside and applying a nonchalant finish.
Pegg completed his hat-trick just before the break, Rankin played a short corner to Danny Fraser whose pinpoint cross was emphatically headed home by Pegg to leave his team in great spirits as they made their way off at half time.
AFC looked to consolidate their lead after the break, they retained possession effectively and whilst they didn’t create as many chances, they came close to extending their lead when Pegg was denied a fourth by a fine save from Tom Allsop diving to his right before Tom Weale’s stunning late free kick smashed against the underside of the bar but didn’t cross the line.
At the other end, Brandon Bache preserved his fifth successive clean sheet, clutching Oscar Jackson’s shot above his head after a fine run by the home substitute.
The only blot on the afternoon was a late injury to Isa Abraham after he was fouled by Solomon, who was eventually sent off upon the intervention of a referee’s assistant.
Chelmsley: Tom Allsop, Ryan Coley, Lewis Moss (Oscar Jackson 60), Corey Solomon, Aidan Doherty (James Brown 75), Adam Keeley, James Henry, Joe Summers (Harry Jennings 46), Mark Rose (Adam Woods 60), Danny Brain, Charlie Williams. Sub not used: Pete Maguire.
Hinckley: Brandon Bache, Matt Dawson (Harry Walker-Donovan 75), Danny Fraser (Adam Barber 68), Sam Ellis (Tom Weale 80), Jack Beasley, Sam Walton, Lewis Rankin, Robbie Bunn, Chandler Pegg (Joe Obi 57), Jack Edwards (Lewis Collins 57), Isa Abraham.
Goals: Sam Ellis (10), Chandler Pegg (15 pen, 35, 43)