Littleton 1-5 Hinckley AFC

Hinckley AFC finished their 2015-16 Midland League Division One campaign with a comprehensive win as they put five past Littleton at Five Acres.

Carl Abbott’s side recorded their sixth away win on the bounce in Worcestershire with an impressive performance that saw them have the better of the game throughout.

Sean Williams’ early strike as the only goal of a quiet first half, but after the break Mike Harvey’s first goal for the club, Isaac Cooper’s brace and Alex Penny’s neat flick secured an emphatic win despite Will Gayton’s goal for the hosts.

Missing Sam Agar and Jean Kalenda through injury and with Lee Butler unavailable after the birth of his child, Carl Abbott made two changes to the side that beat Leicester Road on Tuesday as Cooper and Javia Roberts both started.

And Hinckley started on the front foot as Ryan Seal went close after just 30 seconds, lobbing wide after seeing Haydn Whitcombe off his line.

It took Hinckley just five more minutes to open the scoring. Williams latched onto Alex Penny’s ball over the top and coolly beat Whitcombe by slotting between the ‘keeper’s legs.

The same duo nearly combined to add a second shortly afterwards, but Williams was defeated by the bobble on Penny’s cross, looping his effort onto the bar.

Then, a fine flowing move involving Williams, Cooper and Marcus Jackson ended with Seal shooting straight at Whitcombe from the edge of the box.

Midway through the half, Mitchell Tomlinson was forced off with a broken nose and was replaced by Harvey.

The remainder of the half had a real end of season feel to it, with the bouncy pitch not making football easy for either side. Whitcombe had to deny Jackson at full stretch, while at the other end, the closest Littleton came to scoring was when Lewis Marston’s shot was blocked.

In contrast to the end of the first half, the second started at a frantic pace and after Seal’s low strike was deflected, Hinckley doubled their lead on 52 minutes. A cleverly worked corner routine saw Lee Thomas come short, and deliver a peach of a ball for Harvey to glance into the corner.

But just a minute later, Littleton were back in the game. Shambolic defending allowed Doug Wallace to get to the byline and pull a ball back for Gayton to tap home and halve the deficit.

The glut of goals continued nine minutes later, as Cooper finished emphatically by drilling into the bottom corner from a narrow angle after being set up by Williams.

The end to end nature of the game continued as Marston should have pulled Littleton to within a goal again, but he headed wide from a right wing corner.

Then, Matt Fusco hit a swerving effort over the bar before Hinckley secured all three points with ten minutes to play. Another well worked corner saw Harvey come short, and return the ball to Seal, who delivered a magnificent cross for Penny to flick home.

With the three points secured, Cross comfortably denied Aaron Xavier’s 25 yard free kick, before Cooper added gloss to the scoreline in stoppage time, converting Roberts’ low cross with a Jamie Vardy-style backheel flick.

And as the game finished in a torrential downpour, Hinckley’s players were greeted by a rainbow as they left the field for the final time in a league game this season.

Littleton: Haydn Whitcombe, Ben Judd, Aaron Xavier, Tom Fishwick, Kevin Ingram, Matt Fusco (Ciaran Gilbert 82), Callum Clarke, Lewis Marston, Doug Wallace (Sam Penfold 82), Will Gayton (Kyonn Evans 73), Sean Cook. Sub not used: Steve Edghill

Goal: Will Gayton (53)

Hinckley: Tom Cross, Marcus Jackson, Lee Thomas, Mitchell Tomlinson (Mike Harvey 21), Ryan Paddock, Alex Penny, Javia Roberts, Sean Williams, Ryan Seal, Darious Darkin, Isaac Cooper. Sub not used: JJ Melligan

Goals: Sean Williams (5), Mike Harvey (52), Isaac Cooper (62, 90), Alex Penny (80)

Attendance: 91

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