Saturday 4th January 2014
Gateshead: Bartlett, Baxter, Curtis, Clark, Sirrell, Chandler (Ramshaw), Turnbull (Cummins), Walker, Marwood (Hatch), Brown, Maddison. Subs not Used:- Magnay, Boyes
Hyde FC: Lawrence Vigouroux, Josh Brizell, Adam Blakeman, Rhys Day (Kelvin Lomax), D'Arcy O'Connor, Liam Tomsett, JJ O'Donnell, Adam Thurston, Scott Spencer, Louis Almond, Connor Hughes (Damase Kiwanda). Subs not used: Danny Carlton, Martin Devaney, Tom Manship.
by Luke Edwards
It may look like a battering but for long periods Hyde were more than a match for their high-flying opponents
Young Tigers run out of steam to promotion favourites
Scott McNiven had his hand forced with Alex Brown failing a fitness test and with several other injuries to experienced players named a team that had only Rhys Day who was over 25 years of age.
Despite this they should have gone in ahead but squandered several chances and were punished later on in the game. It was a fairly even start with both sides passing the ball well but lacking an end product. The home side did take the lead in the 11th minute when, after a disputed free-kick, James Marwood clipped a ball to the back post where the ball found Ben Clark who clipped the ball to the back post for Marcus Maddison to thunder in a volley from 6 yards. Hyde came back into the game and were pressing Gateshead hard forcing them into mistakes, the first chance came when Scott Spencer pressurized home goalkeeper Adam Bartlett into a mistake but his unselfish cutback to Louis Almond was brilliantly recovered by Jamie Chandler. Spencer had another chance when he latched onto a loose back pass rounded Bartlett but from the by-line hit the outside of the post by now the home fans were getting restless and they were even more anxious when Liam Tomsett picked up a loose ball from Phil Turnbull exchanged passes with Louis Almond and his effort was curling into the top corner but for the intervention of Bartlett who pawed it away. Anyone who had just arrived at the game and didn't know anything about the 2 teams would have thought that the Tigers were the one's on the cusp of the play-offs and they had another chance when Connor Hughes's shot was somehow blocked by the backside of Bartlett and with D'Arcy O'Connor lurking it was somehow managed to be cleared away by Gateshead.
The 2nd half started off fairly even with Gateshead coming out at a better tempo but Hyde were still playing good football and their next chance came from a Josh Brizell free-kick which curled inches wide. Sadly that proved to be one of the last opportunities as Gateshead extended their lead in controversial circumstances. The ball found Maddison who looked well offside and his cutback was finished well by James Brown. This deflated the Young Tigers and Gateshead showed why they are one of the best teams that Hyde have faced this season as they started to cut through the Tigers and added further goals with Liam Hatch and Chandler both being put through and coolly beating Lawrence Vigeroux to give the scoreline a convincing look but as Gary Mills admitted afterwards it was anything but.