Saturday 1st November 2008
Hyde United: Craig Dootson, Chris Lynch, Adam Oakes (Karl Munroe), Chris Brass, Steve Williams (David Morley), Mark Innes, Chris Simm, Lee Cartwright, Chris Thompson, Phillip Marsh (Nathan Wharton), Nicky Clee. Subs not used: David Owens, Elliot Bernstein.
Gateshead: Musslewaite, Baxter, Phillips, Gate, Curtis, Hocking, Harwood, Francis, Armstrong, Novak, Nelthorpe. Subs: Holloway for Hocking 21, Turnbull for Francis 70, Southern for Armstrong 76.
Lee Novak grabbed a hat-trick in three minutes before fifteen minutes had gone in a sensational opening to the game at Ewen Fields and as far as the Tigers were concerned the game was over. He then added a fourth five minutes before the break and then set up Jamie Harwood for Gateshead’s fifth. It was certainly a man of the match performance in every sense.
As for Hyde the defensive frailties were there for all to see. Failure to deal with matters on the flanks resulted in havoc when the ball was crossed into the centre. Four of Gateshead’s goals were scored from inside the six yard box. As for midfield they failed to compete with the visitors on the counter attack and the game was lost.
In a dramatic start Novak scored on 12 minutes when the ball had been squared back to him. A minute later he grabbed a second as he side-footed home and then he converted a penalty conceded by Adam Oakes just inside the area.
Steve Williams twice went close for Hyde before Chris Simm pulled one back when he got a final touch in a melee which an eagle eyed assistant indicated had crossed the line. Simm then had a strong penalty claim before hitting the angle. He did have the ball in the net on 39 minutes but was ruled offside, probably wrongly as the ball was squared back, but then to add to Hyde’s misery, Gateshead immediately went downfield and Novak slotted home his fourth.
Hyde had a strong claim for a penalty immediately after the break when Chris Brass was bundled over, but it was no avail as Novak broke away and crossed for Harwood to notch the fifth minutes later.
Lee Cartwright pulled a goal back for Hyde on 65 minutes, but Gateshead continued to be dangerous on the break and always looked likely to add to their tally with the Hyde defence continuing to look vulnerable despite the introduction of Dave Morley and Karl Munroe.
There were plenty of ‘what might have been’ scenarios, but the bottom line l was that the Tigers gave Gateshead a three goal start and ultimately conceded five to give Neil Tolson has plenty to ponder on his defensive formation for Saturday’s game at Solihull.