Hinckley AFC 6-1 Continental Star
Hinckley AFC returned to winning ways with a comfortable 6-1 victory over Continental Star in the First Round of the JW Hunt Cup.
Ryan Seal’s hat-trick will take the headlines: he started and finished the scoring to continue his impressive start to life in an AFC shirt, with his treble being added to by Luke Richards’ brace and Rico Taylor’s free kick.
Carl Abbott made three changes to the AFC side that faced Shepshed Dynamo last Tuesday. Tom Cross, Marcus Jackson and Elikem Amenku all took their places in the side in place of Sam Arnold, Jean Kalenda and Darious Darkin.
Hinckley came out of the blocks quickly, and broke the deadlock six minutes in. Seal was set up by Richards’ pass from the left, and he slotted the ball inside the far post to give his side the lead.
Then, eight minutes later, Taylor doubled Hinckley’s lead as his right wing free kick evaded everyone in the box and nestled in the far corner.
AFC’s lightning start gave them a position of comfort and control, which was added to after sixteen minutes. Richards capitalised and slotted home after the visiting ‘keeper could only parry back into the danger zone.
Abbott’s side were never going to relinquish their position of control, and all three of Hinckley’s goalscorers in the first half combined to add a fourth ten minutes into the second period. Richards’ cross-field carry fed Taylor, whose teasing cross was met by Seal to grab his second of the night and score the club’s 200th competitive goal.
After Hinckley’s capitulation against Heath Hayes last month, they could easily have buckled when Continental Star pulled one back just after the hour mark.
But they weren’t to be deterred this time, and their best goal of the night came with fifteen minutes to go. Play advanced from goalkeeper Cross, who found Seal with a throw. The former Kirby Muxloe man continued his impressive link up with Richards by releasing the club captain, who took a touch before burying his second of the evening.
That allowed Hinckley to relax somewhat, and substitute goalkeeper Arnold was given an outfield berth for the final five minutes. Remarkably, he thought he’d scored with his first touch, but the goal was ruled out for offside.
Then, Seal grabbed a deserved hat-trick in stoppage time as he converted from the penalty spot.
That capped off a night where Hinckley ended their run of three straight defeats and ensured they will travel to Wolves Sporting in the Second Round.
Hinckley: Tom Cross, Marcus Jackson, Lee Thomas, Kristian Ramsey-Dickson (Oli Basham 56), Liam Smith, Nathan Walker, Sean Williams (Sam Arnold 85), Elikem Amenku (Mitchell Tomlinson 71), Ryan Seal, Luke Richards, Rico Taylor. Sub not used: Ray Facey
Goals: Ryan Seal (6, 55, 90 pen), Rico Taylor (14), Luke Richards (16, 75)