Hinckley AFC won their first piece of silverware as they beat Oakham United 5-1 at Holmes Park to lift the Jelson Homes Senior Cup.
Carl Abbott’s side were beaten by Bardon Hill in the final last season, but there was never any danger of a repeat as Hinckley dominated from start to finish.
A rapid start saw Ryan Seal give Hinckley an early lead, which was built on by Isaac Cooper and Javia Roberts before the game had even reached the half hour mark.
Despite Lee Butler seeing red, Hinckley still had the better of the second half and although Lewis Leckie pulled one back for the Rutland side, Seal completed his hat-trick to comprehensively earn AFC’s first trophy.
Making just one change to the side that beat Littleton on Saturday, Abbott replaced the unavailable Ryan Paddock with the returning Butler, meaning Alex Penny partnered Mitchell Tomlinson at centre back.
And Hinckley scored with their first real chance eight minutes in. A sensational pass from Darious Darkin saw him find Seal with the outside of his foot, allowing the former Kirby Muxloe man to expertly control and coolly finish to give his side the ascendancy.
The same player then saw his shot saved by John Feetham after Butler broke forward down the right, before Feetham then denied Sean Williams when one on one.
Hinckley were creating chances at will, and scored their second on 13 minutes. Wonderful skill from Williams saw him nutmeg Kris Kefford before crossing with the outside of his foot onto the head of Cooper, who stooped bravely to head home at the far post.
Penny then headed over from six yards, and Cooper was denied at the near post as Hinckley looked to put the tie beyond doubt.
They had to wait just four minutes longer to add their third through a fine solo goal from Roberts, whose swerving left footed strike gave Feetham no chance as it flew into the top corner from 20 yards.
Hinckley’s task could have been made more awkward on the half hour when Butler was harshly dismissed, but their control of the ball continued to be excellent even though they didn’t threaten again before half time.
A frantic start to the second half saw Oakham claw themselves back into the game two minutes into it as Leckie drilled home to beat Tom Cross at his near post.
But Hinckley were not to be deterred, and restored their three goal lead just a minute later. Seal was sent in behind, and coolly rounded Feetham to slot into the empty net.
The Seal/Darkin duo combined again to add Hinckley’s fifth on the hour, Seal finishing well at the near post to complete his hat-trick after another fine pass.
Then, Cooper’s 20 yard free kick was tipped onto the post, and Seal blazed over from the edge of the box as Hinckley looked to make the scoreline more emphatic.
The only time Oakham really threatened Cross’ goal was with a minute to go, when Ben Fasson blasted into the side netting from close range.
Seal should have added his fourth and Hinckley’s sixth in stoppage time, Feetham grabbing the ball at his feet, but the hat-trick hero soon put that out of his mind – as captain, he became the first Hinckley AFC player to lift a piece of silverware in the club’s short history.
Hinckley: Tom Cross, Marcus Jackson, Lee Thomas (David Blenkinsopp 74), Mitchell Tomlinson, Alex Penny, Lee Butler, Sean Williams (Kristian Ramsey-Dickson 78), Darious Darkin, Ryan Seal, Javia Roberts (Mike Harvey 56), Isaac Cooper
Goals: Ryan Seal (8, 48, 58), Isaac Cooper (13), Javia Roberts (25)
Oakham: John Feetham, Daniel Jenkins (Connor Pilbeam 27), Kris Kefford, James North (Sven Hart 65), Gavin Cooke, Richard Nelson, Ben Fasson, Adam Rothery, Lewis Leckie, Stuart Lambie, Evan Crawford (Andy Sayers 58). Subs not used: Matt Holland, Richard Phoenix
Goal: Lewis Leckie (47)