The County Cup trip to Ellistown gave Melton Town co-managers Tom Manship and Jon Stevenson the chance to give game time to players in need of a full 90 minutes.
Town’s hopes of going one better than last season’s semi-final appearance began positively with a 2-1 at Ellistown to set up a second round trip to Senior League side Friar Lane and Epworth on Tuesday, October 23.
The visitors came out of the traps quickly and took the lead within two minutes when a clearance was headed back towards goal by Hibbitt, and Kadeem Price, starting for the first time this season, slotted low past the keeper.
Melton dominated possession early on, but failed to penetrate a resolute defence, with the only real chance falling to Lindley who fired a speculative shot from out wide which just missed the angle of bar and post.
Lindley went close again midway through the first half when his 25-yard free-kick clipped the post with the keeper helpless.
The next attack saw Lindley again try to catch the keeper off his line, but his shot from close to the byline just missed the far post.
Then just before half-time Melton did extend their lead when debutant Josh Burniston outmuscled the Ellistown defence and played in Price for his second.
Lindley was again close with the first attack of the second half when his half-volley from the edge of the area shaved the post.
Price almost got his hat-trick after a one-two with Reek, but his turn and shot cleared the bar.
The forward was a menace all match and midway through the half he raced through the defence and unselfishly teed up Sam Thorpe who turned the defender and slotted just wide.
An identical move a minute later saw Thorpe force the keeper into a great save.
Ellistown halved the deficit with a rare counter-attack with 12 minutes left, Smith following in to score after a shot hammered against the bar.
Melton upped their game without producing further clear-cut chances, but it was a much more comfortable win than the scoreline suggests.