Hinckley AFC secured their second place finish in the Midland League First Division with an action packed 6-3 win over Chelmsley Town at Pack Meadow.
AFC are now an insurmountable seven points clear of the side in third as they ensured their highest league finish to date.
Ryan Seal scored his seventh hat-trick of the season and moved his total tally to 56 with another treble, while Paul Sullivan’s brace also added to Sam Agar’s opener.
And while defensive frailties remained, Chelmsley scoring three goals of their own, AFC were comfortable in recording their 26th league win this season.
Carl Abbott made just one change to his AFC side that beat Nuneaton Griff on Saturday. Francino Francis was unavailable through work commitments, so Mark Williams returned from suspension to replace him at the heart of the defence.
And after a quiet opening, Hinckley took the lead with the first real chance of the game as the half approached its midway point. Agar dispossessed won the ball back, turned his man and fired a shot from an acute angle which squirmed under home ‘keeper Stuart Parsons and found the net via a deflection.
And just a couple of minutes later, Hinckley doubled their lead. It came courtesy of captain Seal, who fired into the top corner from 15 yards after good work by Agar and Javia Roberts on the right.
It was a clinical start to the game by the visitors, who scored with their first two chances, but their slips at the back regularly allowed Chelmsley hope. Half an hour in, the lead was halved as a corner was allowed to travel too far and Kaine Williams nodded in at the far post.
Hinckley, though, restored their two goal advantage just a couple of minutes into the second half. Sean Williams’ searching ball into the box found Seal, who finished smartly from eight yards.
But they couldn’t make themselves comfortable, Chelmsley reducing it to one goal again almost immediately when Alex Knight capitalised on Haydn Whitcombe missing his kick and made it 3-2.
Hinckley then introduced Paul Sullivan and the former Chasetown man had an immediate impact, scoring twice in the space of ten minutes to put the game to bed. First, he ensured Parsons’ good save was to no avail by following up and netting the rebound, before making it 5-2 by latching onto Roberts’ through ball and rounding Parsons.
And the flurry of goals continued with a quarter of an hour to play, Seal scoring his seventh treble of the campaign. Again Roberts was the supplier, with the former Kirby Muxloe man benefiting from his cross to make it 6-2.
The home side hit the back of the net again late on through George Ford, but it was merely a consolation as Hinckley secured all three points and with it guaranteed a second place finish.
Hinckley: Haydn Whitcombe, Chad Degville-Cross, Lee Thomas (Paul Sullivan 53), James Williams, Mark Williams, Andy Westwood, Lee Butler (Leadun Dunlevy 75), Ryan Seal, Sam Agar, Sean Williams, Javia Roberts (Lewis Riley 83).
Goals: Sam Agar (20), Ryan Seal (22, 48, 75), Paul Sullivan (61, 70)
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