Full Time: Hinckley United 0 Gainsborough Trinity 2
Paul Connor was brought back into the starting line-up today and rewarded his manager with both goals in a 2-0 win against Hinckley.
Trinity were far from their best against the basement boys, but produced a workmanlike performance to take all three Blue Square Bet North points at the Green King Stadium.
Both goals came in the first half, one a perfectly weighted lob and the second a powerful stooping header. It appeared that Trinity would go on and earn a comfortable win, but the home side showed plenty of fight to hold the play-off chasing Blues.
Jamie Yates was the first to try his luck for Trinity after being put through by Terry Hawkridge, but his shot flew to the right of Martin Conway's goal. Then, seven minutes in, Hawkridge crossed for Luke Waterfall to head just wide.
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After ten minutes, Craig Nelthorpe let fly with a speculative effort from 20 yards which dipped at the last minute and bounced off the cross bar.
Trinity were dominating the early part of the game and that domination paid off after 14 minutes when Nelthorpe put Connor through on goal and the striker lobbed Conway from the edge of the area. The goal was the 100th conceded this season by the home side.
The Blues were pressing again after 25 minutes when a long run by Hawkridge earned a corner. But the visitor's flag kick was headed just over the bar by Danny Hone.
Hinckley had an attack of their own when Luke Richards rolled Hone on the half way line, but the Trinity defender recovered to make the tackle before the striker could get his shot off. Just as the home side were getting back in the game Trinity added a second. Hawkridge's driven cross was met perfectly by Conner who headed home his second of the game.
Connor had a chance to seal his hat-trick seven minutes in, but his low shot from 12 yards was saved by the legs of the home keeper. He was in again five minutes later, but his header at the back post from Wilde's cross hit the corssbar.
A quiet spell in the game was lifted when Russell's ball to Wilde was hit first time by the defender, but the pwerfull, rising shot was palmed over the bar by Conway. Then, a Trinity free-kick from Yates was met by Waterfall who headed down into the ground and wide.
Trinity pushed for a third as the game strolled towards the final whistle, but the final goal-mouth action saw substitute Shane Clarke man-handled to the ground as he tried to get a shot on goal with two minutes left.