Hinckley AFC 4-0 Southam United
Having had a month away from league action, you could have expected a degree of rustiness from Hinckley AFC, but there was none showing as they put four without reply past Southam United.
Hinckley last played a league game on Boxing Day, but after an enforced break they made up for lost time by taking an early lead through Marcus Jackson.
And they continued to assert their dominance as a brace from Greg Pearson and Marco Adaggio’s fierce strike secured an emphatic return to action for Carl Abbott’s side.
Abbott made five changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Nuneaton Griff on Boxing Day, with Mitchell Tomlinson, Kristian Ramsey-Dickson, Alex Penny, Sean Williams and Jackson all coming into the side.
The boggy pitch didn’t make football easy, but in truth it didn’t hinder Hinckley, who had the majority of possession throughout. Their first sight of goal came when Luke Richards’ deflected shot was well saved, but it took until the twentieth minute for the first real chance to arrive, and Jackson took it with aplomb.
After collecting the ball from a short corner, the former Evesham man carried the ball before finding the far corner with an eighteen yard drive.
AFC then lost Williams due to a knock, but didn’t lose any of their impetus, although Tom Cross was called into action for the first time by Alex Andrews.
Shortly after the half hour mark, Hinckley’s lead was doubled. Pearson linked up well with strike partner Ryan Seal, before expertly converting the chance with a lofted finish over visiting ‘keeper Matt Archer.
Pearson should have scored again shortly before the interval, but somehow skied his shot from inside the six yard box.
Hinckley showed no sign of relenting after half time, and Pearson did bag his second of the afternoon within a minute of the restart. Jackson continued to be influential, and it was his right wing cross that found Pearson unmarked in the box, the striker coolly side footing home for AFC’s third.
Adaggio had to settle for a place on the substitutes’ bench to start, but once introduced to the action he made an instant impact. Cutting in from the left, the striker brought the ball onto his right foot and fired an unstoppable effort beyond Archer from twenty yards.
After that, Adaggio had an effort cleared off the line and Jackson’s low effort was beaten away by Archer. And although Hinckley couldn’t add any further goals, their dominant performance gave Abbott the ideal start to 2016.
Hinckley: Tom Cross, Mitchell Tomlinson, Lee Thomas, Kristian Ramsey-Dickson (Marco Adaggio 54), Alex Morris, Alex Penny, Sean Williams (JJ Melligan 27), Marcus Jackson, Greg Pearson, Ryan Seal, Luke Richards (Tom Bates 62). Sub not used: Mason Hirst.
Goals: Marcus Jackson (20), Greg Pearson (33, 46), Marco Adaggio (57).
Southam: Matt Archer, Lee Constable (Aaron Cheshire 78), James Layton-Hill (Luke Sanders 35), Luke Wilson (Lewis Califano 85), Alex Baird, Mike Harvey, Adam Miles, Callum Regan, Alex Andrews, Paul Goonan, Tunde Ajibade. Sub not used: Ryan Bendzak.