Rock-bottom Hinckley pulled off an unlikely win at second-placed Guiseley to end their stint in the Blue Square Bet North.
Leading at half time through a Luke Richards brace, the Knitters were pegged back by two second-half goals from Andy Pearson and James Walshaw. But just as it looked as though the Lions had built up a head of steam, a couple of schoolboy defending errors allowed Liam Canavan and Gavin Hurren the easiest of finishes to seal the victory.
Guiseley gave some of their squad players a start before next week’s play-offs, and on fourteen minutes Hinckley took the lead as Richards ran clear of two home defenders before slotting under Jacob Giles for the opener. Guiseley replied with Andy Pearson’s knock-down from a corner but Hurren took the ball off Luke Robinson’s head. James Hicks then nearly screwed Paddy Mullen’s cross into his own net before Richards lashed home his second on the stroke of half-time.
Mullen set up Phil Marsh on the resumption, but the striker’s header was straight at Ash Timms. Luke Robinson snatched at two chances before being replaced by James Walshaw, who was just a whisker away from converting Zack Dale’s cross. Sean O’Reilly missed a sitter from eight yards out for the home side, and when Flavien Blanchard broke down the left he had Mark Bower scrambling back to clear off the line.
Pearson started the fightback with a stooping header at the far post on 70 minutes and Walshaw squared matters three minutes later after Aaron Hardy had chased down a ball. He fed Walshaw, who sidestepped a defender to shoot beyond Timms.
The stalemate was short-lived, however, as basic defensive errors allowed Canavan the easiest of tap-ins to restore the Knitters’ lead on 74 minutes and five minutes later the same player outpaced two home defenders to cross for Hurren to convert at the far post and give Hinckley an unlikely but deserved win in the last match of their current spell in the BSBN.
Entertainment value: ****
Star man: Luke Richards (Hinckley)
Scorers: Guiseley – Pearson (70), Walshaw (73); Hinckley – Richards (14, 44), Canavan (74), Hurren (79).
Teams: Guiseley: Giles; Hardy, McWilliams; O’Reilly (M Wilson, 67), Pearson, Bower (Captain); Mullen, Lawlor, Marsh, Robinson (Walshaw, 56), Dale (Carole, 67). Subs not used: Rea, Drench.
Hinckley: Timms; Hicks, Branch; Hurren, Conway, Pickering (Captain); Blanchard, Newton, Canavan, Richards (Peet, 90), Kabeya (Abbasi, 73).
Referee: Matt Walsh