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Match Details:

Tuesday 27th March 2012
Conference North

Bishop's Stortford0
Hyde FC1Gray (83 pen)

Attendance: 314

Bishop's Stortford: Haxhia, Lampe, Minton (Pavett), Abdullahi (Lette Jallow), Francis, Craig, Gayle, Johnson, Hunt (Dadson), Prestedge, Melaugh. Unused subs: Shulton, Dunbar

Hyde FC: David Carnell, Josh Brizell, Adam Griffin, Andrew Pearson, Gianluca Havern, Tunji Moses (Callum Byrne), Chris Worsley, Reece Gray (David Poole), Godwin Abadaki, Scott Spencer (Phil Edghill), Ryan Crowther. Subs not used: Shelton Payne, Danny Hall.

Report by Mark Carney

A below par Hyde FC had to work hard to earn victory over Bishop’s Stortford at Woodside Park thanks to a late Reece Gray penalty.

With the sides evenly matched for much of the game, it looked as though it would finish level. That was until a powerful run into the box from Godwin Abadaki was halted by a clumsy tackle by defender Jack Lampe, resulting in a clear penalty.

Looking to end their recent run of poor results, Hyde knew victory would move them 3 points closer to the league title while Bishops wanted to put their recent defeat to FC Halifax behind them and get back to winning ways.

The game started brightly, with both sides full of attacking intent but unable to take control of the play, instead wasting possession with some poor passing, though the pitch hardly helped.

The game was nearly a quarter of the way through before the first real chance was created, and it was Hyde who could have, and maybe should have, gone ahead; striker Abadaki was unable to keep Josh Brizell’s cross down following some good work by the right-back.

Quickly after, Scott Spencer wasted another chance, this time with the ball coming in from the left, he headed just over as the league leaders began to get into their rhythm and take control of thegame.

As the game grew older, Hyde began to create more chances but it was Stortford who came closest on 38 minutes, Dwight Gayle hitting the bar with a lob that left David Carnell stranded.

This was the start of a bright period of pressure for the Blues, who grew in confidence and began to battle Hyde for every ball, something their play had lacked up to this point.

With Josh Brizell unable to clear a ball into the box, Gianluca Havern threw himself into a vital block, proving again his importance to the side both tonight and this season.

As half-time approached, Chris Worsley had a great chance to give the Tigers the lead; Tunji Moses found Scott Spencer with a great ball into the box, the England striker made some space and crossed to Worsely who blazed his shot high and wide.

The second half started in similar fashion, the ball going from end to end with both sides urgently trying to make the break through; Worsley again lacking some composure with his finish after Adam Griffin’s cross struck Abadaki on 47 minutes.

From the resultant goal kick, a weak Hyde clearance saw the ball land at the feet of Stortford striker Ben Hunt; his low shot forcing an excellent save from ‘keeper Dave Carnell.

With both sides matching each other blow for blow, it was clear that it was going to take a special performance from someone to split the sides, and growing into the match was on loan midfielder Reece Gray.

The midfielder had 3 shots in quick succession, his best coming on 55 minutes; finding himself in a bit of space and seeing ‘keeper Aldi Haxhia off his line, he attempted a sublime chip from outside the box, his effort just falling on the wrong side of the post.

On 64 minutes, it was Bishops’s turn to threaten. Winning a free-kick 20 yards from goal, Carnell did well to keep out captain Reece Prestedge’s effort with Dwight Gayle unable to make the most of the follow up, firing over from inside the 6 yard box.

With both sides needing a spark, there was a flurry of activity on the bench; Hyde replaced Moses with Callum Byrne, and Stortford swapping Hunt and Alli Abdullahi for Jordan Pavett and Max Lette Jallow respectively.

Carnell quickly became the busier of the ‘keepers; saving from Gayle on 75 minutes, he then could only watch as Sean Francis’s header glanced agonisingly close to the post a minute later.

Seeing his side begin to lose a foot in the match, Hyde manager Gary Lowe brought off Spencer for Philip Edghill, the prolific striker finding his presence in the match dwindling after an excellent first half.

After again wasting another chance to put themselves in the lead, Bishops soon found themselves under pressure from the Hyde counter attack; Ryan Crowther causing problems on the left wing before Abadaki was tripped in the area on 80 minutes.

With Spencer having been substituted, Gray confidently stepped up and dispatched the ball into the bottom right corner, sending the ‘keeper the wrong way. It was met with huge applause from the travelling fans, who rushed to celebrate with the players behind the goal.

That was to be Gray’s final contribution, as he was subbed off for David Poole, with the leaders looking to reinforce their midfield as Stortford threw everything at the Tigers.

However, a solid defensive performance, especially from Havern and Carnell who both performed brilliantly throughout the match, meant Hyde held on until the final whistle, with Crowther’s clearance being met with a roar of cheers from the fans.

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