Hinckley AFC will look to reach a first Leicestershire Senior Cup semi-final since 2016 when they face a last eight tie against another side riding high in Division One, Ingles.
AFC reached the final in the first two years of the club’s existence, winning the trophy in 2016, but haven’t made it this far since and will look to put that record straight against Ingles.
Having beaten Magna 73 and Birstall United to reach this stage, AFC now face a first away tie of the Senior Cup run.
An impressive league run of late has seen Hinckley notch up eight wins in a row in all competitions but this will provide arguably the toughest test of that run.
Ingles have had a strong start to the season and sit fifth in Division One after 17 games, with 31 points from nine wins and four draws. Their last two games have both been against Bilston Town – a 2-1 victory at home before losing 3-1 away. Their match against AFC Bridgnorth this weekend was postponed due to the weather.
While they haven’t been prolific scorers (though Jack Allen has impressed with eight goals on that front), a strong reason behind that successful start has been the second-best defensive record in the division, with just 22 goals conceded so far.
In the Senior Cup, they beat Highfield Rangers and Allexton & New Parks, both 2-1, to get this stage and have a third home tie in succession against AFC. They also reached the final in 2020, but it never got played due to lockdown.
AFC won two trips to Homestead Road last season with a 3-1 league victory and a 4-0 success in the league. This will also be the first of two visits there this month, with the corresponding league fixture scheduled for Boxing Day at midday.
From the dressing room
“They’re a good team. and Shaun (Wilkes, Ingles manager) has done a fantastic job there. To stay up last season and finish safely away from the relegation zone, and then to be around the play-offs this year is testament to what they’ve done there. They’re a big physical side, they’ll throw everything on you and put balls in the box so we’ll have to be able to deal with that.
We’ve got a good record there, we won twice last year so we’ll try and make it three from three now. And we’ll see where we are in terms of bodies but we’ll do all we can to win the game and not turn down a chance to reach a semi-final.”
Ingles play at Homestead Road, Thringstone, Leicestershire, LE67 8LL.
The winners of the tie will progress to the semi-finals. The quarter-final draw is:
- Ingles v Hinckley
- Hathern 6-0 Desford & Caterpillar
- Kirby Muxloe v Heather St John’s
- AFC North Kilworth v Barrow Town