Hinckley AFC 5-1 Studley

A five star performance saw Hinckley AFC return to winning ways with a comfortable victory over third bottom Studley.

In what was a commanding performance from Carl Abbott’s side throughout, goals from James Williams and Paul Sullivan put Hinckley ahead before Gareth Evans pulled one back for the visitors shortly before half time.

But in truth, Hinckley were never under threat and scored three times without reply after the break through Seal’s penalty, Sullivan’s free kick and Mark Williams’ first for the club.

Abbott made three changes to the side that started last week’s defeat at Littleton – all of them in defence. Lee Thomas made his 50th appearance for the club in replacing Kirtis Monson at left back, while there was a new partnership at the heart of the defence as Jacob Sturgess and Mark Williams came in.

Hinckley were on top in the game from early on, and after Seal saw an early shot gathered by Studley ‘keeper Alistair Lewis, the same player struck the base of the post.

Lewis then had to be on hand to stop Sullivan’s curling effort with a fine save as the majority of the opening quarter hour was all in the visitors’ half.

And the goal, which had been coming, came 24 minutes in when James Williams headed home from a corner.

Seal then struck the woodwork again with a cross-shot on the half hour, but the second goal came just a minute later. A marauding run down the right by James Williams ended with a pinpoint through ball, from which Sullivan’s deflected shot nestled in the back of the net.

With the scoreline at 2-0, Studley started to grab a foothold in the game and after Alex Knight snatched at a shot in their first genuine attack, the Bees halved the deficit five minutes before half time through Gareth Evans’ low near post header.

Not to be deterred, Hinckley quickly restored their two goal advantage less than a minute after the break. Thomas was brought down in the box, and Seal converted the resulting spot kick.

And Hinckley all but secured all three points seven minutes later through Sullivan’s low 25 yard free kick.

Seal then blazed over from James Williams’ cross, before AFC emphasised their dominance by adding a fifth with a quarter of an hour to play. Another fierce Sullivan free kick was spilled by Lewis, and Mark Williams slammed home the rebound from close range.

As the game entered its final stages, Lewis denied Seal again with a good save from his deflected effort, before Sullivan’s mesmeric run saw him dance past four players before being blocked by a fifth as he entered the box.

All in all, it was a comprehensive return to winning ways for AFC who take a break from league action on Tuesday when Boldmere St Michaels visit St John’s Park in the Polymac Packaging League Cup.

Hinckley: Haydn Whitcombe, James Williams, Lee Thomas, Jacob Sturgess, Mark Williams, Peter Williams (Darious Darkin 26), Sean Williams, Ryan Seal, Javia Roberts (Leadun Dunlevy 79), Paul Sullivan, Andy Westwood (Tom McCrystal 70). Subs not used: JJ Melligan, Luke Richards

Goals: James Williams (24), Paul Sullivan (30, 53), Ryan Seal (46 pen), Mark Williams (74)

Studley: Alistair Lewis, Bradley Rollaston, Sam Delaney, Luke Hennessey, Matt Powell, Jack Moss, Alex Knight, Ron Adjei (Kieran Nesbitt 79), Gareth Evans, Danny Pitt (Ben Wilkinson 63), Danny Ludlow. Subs not used: Matt Ross, Jack McGinn, Dan Dineen

Goal: Gareth Evans (40)

Attendance: 174

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