Hinckley AFC suffered their first league defeat of the season as Bromsgrove Sporting ran out 3-0 winners at The Victoria Ground.
In truth, AFC lacked a spark and couldn’t stretch the Sporting defence enough to cause major problems.
Keenan Meakin-Richards’ 25 yard free kick gave Bromsgrove the lead, and an Ahmed Ali brace either side of half time secured all three points for the hosts who have a 100% record in the league.
Hinckley made three changes to the side that beat Stafford Town last week. Haydn Whitcombe made a debut in goal, while Jean Kalenda returned to the defence and Sam Agar started up front.
The game could have had a much different complexion had Agar netted a golden chance just five minutes in. He picked up on a loose pass across the home backline, and raced through on goal, only for Chris Jay to make himself big and pull off a smart save.
Jay was then given routine work to do by Ryan Paddock’s downward header, before Bromsgrove opened the scoring on the quarter hour mark. Kalenda brought down Chris Lloyd 25 yards out, and Meakin-Richards curled a fine effort beyond Whitcombe from the resulting free kick.
Bromsgrove nearly doubled their lead less than a minute later. Hinckley gave the ball away carelessly, and Bunn’s effort was destined for the net until the full stretch Whitcombe got a strong hand to the ball to prevent a certain second.
Then, Tony Clarke had a brace of chances, lobbing a bouncing ball narrowly wide before heading beyond Whitcombe’s far post from a free kick.
Bromsgrove did double their lead eight minutes before the break when Ali got himself in front of Kalenda and glanced into the far corner.
The only other sight of goal Hinckley had before the break was when Agar’s clever lob landed on the roof of the net.
After the break, Bromsgrove nearly added a third when Will Tibbetts met Lloyd’s cross with a sweetly struck volley, but he was denied by Hinckley’s debutant ‘keeper.
Then, at the other end, Hinckley should have pulled a goal back on the hour. Sean Williams spread the play to the wing, where James Williams’ pull back was blazed over by Darious Darkin twelve yards out.
After that, Bromsgrove started to see the game out but still had chances. Bunn’s effort from range was easily dealt with by Whitcombe, before the same player struck wide of the near post after neat build up play.
On his 50th Hinckley appearance, Isaac Cooper provided Hinckley’s biggest attacking threat after his introduction from the bench, and his cross was just out of Agar’s reach as Hinckley sought the goal that would make the hosts nervous.
But any hope Hinckley had of getting back into the game was quashed ten minutes from time. Jack Wilson drilled a cross in from the left, Ali attacked it and powered home a header from close range.
Late on, only Mike Harvey’s fine recovering challenge denied Tibbetts a chance for a fourth, and Hinckley have to bounce back quickly ahead of their Bank Holiday double header, starting against Racing Club Warwick on Saturday.
Bromsgrove: Chris Jay, Aaron Roberts, Jack Wilson, Daniel Morris, Jake Willcox (Will Tibbetts 46), Luke Edwards, Ahmed Ali, Robbie Bunn, Tony Clarke, Chris Lloyd (Lucky Nwosu 67), Keenan Meakin-Richards (Chris Conway 54). Subs not used: Dale Edwards, Sean Brain
Goals: Keenan Meakin-Richards (15), Ahmed Ali (37, 80)
Hinckley: Haydn Whitcombe, Mike Harvey, Lee Thomas (James Williams 46), Ryan Paddock, Jean Kalenda, Darious Darkin, Lee Butler, Ryan Seal, Sam Agar, Sean Williams, Javia Roberts (Isaac Cooper 62). Subs not used: Rico Taylor, Tom McCrystal, Tom Cross