George Bowerman scored his third brace in four starts as Hinckley AFC won their third home game on the bounce over ten man Paget Rangers.
Bowerman scored twice either side of Jake Healy’s first home goal for Carl Abbott’s side, who recorded a professional three points despite never really being at their fluent best.
Dan Carter replied for Paget, who had earlier had Rioual Kousseba-Bakala sent off, and even though Sam Agar missed a penalty for Hinckley they were relatively comfortable in the end in securing all three points.
Abbott made three changes to the side that beat Nuneaton Griff on Tuesday, recalling Marcus Jackson to the side while handing Lee Miveld and Jake Healy their first starts.
The opening stages were scrappy with neither side taking control of the game in the opening quarter of an hour, but Paget looked the keener and Haydn Whitcombe had to deny Troy Baker with a fine low save.
Bowerman’s shot was saved by Josh Benton in Hinckley’s first chance, and shortly afterwards Richard Munday headed onto the crossbar as AFC knocked on the door for the first time.
But the visitors were always a threat through strikers Ross Dempster and David Franklin, with both going close midway through the half.
It was Hinckley who took the lead with a highly fortuitous goal seven minutes before the break, as a half clearance struck Bowerman six yards out and rebounded back over the line.
That put Hinckley in the ascendancy, and shortly afterwards they gained a numerical advantage to match that on the scoreboard. Bakala struck Agar in an off the ball incident which was spotted by the assistant referee, and he was dismissed.
And a minute before the hour mark, Hinckley doubled their lead. Lee Butler’s corner was flicked on by Munday, and Agar returned the ball at the far post for Healy to convert from close range.
Then, Munday’s header was disallowed for offside and Bowerman crashed an effort against the bar as AFC sought a third.
But if Hinckley thought it would be plain sailing from this point on, Paget had other ideas and pulled one back with 16 minutes to play. Substitute Dan Carter halved the deficit with a cheeky dinked finish over the advancing Whitcombe.
Not to be deterred, Hinckley had the chance to restore their two goal lead just a minute later. Bowerman was felled in the box, but Agar crashed the penalty off the bar, onto the line, back onto the bar and out again, and he was unable to convert the rebound.
But two minutes later, Bowerman did restore the two goal advantage. Latching onto a ball over the top, his touch took it away from the visiting defence and he coolly slotted home.
With Hinckley now more comfortable, Butler struck the bar after being fed by Agar and Joe Haines fired narrowly wide from six yards.
That was enough to secure the three points for Hinckley, who have a quick turnaround before travelling to Atherstone Town on Monday.
Hinckley: Haydn Whitcombe, Marcus Jackson, Joe Haines, Lee Miveld, Mitchell Tomlinson, Richard Munday, Lee Butler, Bekir Halil (Brad Rolston 89), Sam Agar, George Bowerman (Kyle Minto 78), Jake Healy (Isaac Cooper 83). Subs not used: Dom Smith, James Williams
Goals: George Bowerman (38, 78), Jake Healy (59)
Paget: Josh Benton, Liam Morris, Rhys Boswell, Billy Fagg, Rioual Kousseba-Bakala, Callum Mallett, Matthias Blake, Mark Williams, Ross Dempster (Dean Morris 46), David Franklin (Dan Carter 46), Troy Baker (Joe Butler 71). Subs not used: Ryan Conlan, Craig Gasiewski
Goal: Dan Carter (74)
Attendance: 174Back to news