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Match Details:

Saturday 1st March 2014
Conference Premier

Braintree Town2Mensah (5), Holman (84)
Hyde FC1Brown (37)

Attendance: 758

Braintree Town: Hamann, Habergham, Massey, Paine, Laurent, Davis (Isaac), Mulley, Sparkes (Daley), Mensah (Holman), Peters, Marks. Subs Not Used: Long, McDonald.

Hyde FC: Chris Kettings, Josh Brizell, Adam Blakeman (James Kirby), Will Haining, Kelvin Lomax, Alex McQuade, Jordan Clark, Alex Brown, Adam Thurston, Danny Carlton, Connor Hughes. Subs not used: Ashley Frith, Darren Thornton, Andrew Fitzgerald, Jake Pollard. Sent off: Adam Thurston.

A late Dan Holman goal denied Hyde FC a hard earned point in a controversial affair at the Amlin Stadium.

By George Corrin

Manager Scott McNiven was particularly aggrieved at the circumstances leading up to Braintree Town’s winner, as midfielder Adam Thurston was sent off for a soft second booking by referee Declan Ford just a minute before Holman's goal.

Hyde also had two penalty shouts for handball turned down inside the first half, with Ford waving away both appeals from the visitors.

On-loan Watford striker Bernard Mensah had originally given the Iron the lead inside the first five minutes before Alex Brown equalised later in the half.

The result now means that the Tigers are 27 points adrift from safety and have gone seven games without a win in the Skrill Premier, and three without a point.

Braintree started the match brightly and put Hyde’s back line under severe pressure from the first minute.

It didn’t take long for the home side to take the lead, after just four minutes Mensah glided between both Kelvin Lomax and Will Haining to leave himself through on goal; the 19-year-old then clinically slotted the ball past the advancing Chris Kettings to make it 1-0 to Braintree.

Scott McNiven’s side responded well and began to move the ball around a tough Amlin Stadium surface.

Mensah nearly doubled his tally on 15 minutes but the striker could only direct his close range header straight at Kettings.

The Tigers were appealing for a penalty shortly after, as Blakeman’s cross looked to have hit a Braintree hand inside the area. However, despite the protest’s referee Ford ruled the incident as ball to hand.

The Tigers soon had control of possession and winger Connor Hughes tested Nick Hamann with a curling 20-yard effort.

Moments later Hamann proved Hyde’s adversary once again, as the German keeper somehow managed to stop both Josh Brizell’s effort and the resulting melee that ensued inside the Braintree goal mouth.

On 37 minutes Hyde finally found their deserved equaliser, as the Captain Alex Brown unleashed a sublime 20-yard drive into the bottom corner for his first goal of the season.

Scott McNiven’s side were soon appealing for another handball claim but again Hyde were left downtrodden as Ford signalled play on.

The second half saw Alan Devonshire side come out the stronger of the two and the Iron began to apply some intense attacking pressure to the Hyde goal.

Kettings soon took centre stage as the keeper managed to tip over Kenny Davis’ stinging long range shot. Seconds later, the Scotland under 21 international denied Massey with a flying two handed save.

The Essex outfit looked to have taken the lead after Dan Sparkes fired in following a goal mouth scramble; however Ford ruled out the goal after Sean Marks looked to have fouled Kettings in the build up.

On 73 minutes Adam Thurston picked up his first booking after he brought down Sparkes inside the Hyde half. It went from bad to worse for Thurston 10 minutes later, as the 18-year-old was given his marching orders following a challenge on Davis, to the surprise of even the home crowd.

The Amlin Stadium went into raptures less than a minute later, after second half substitutes Luke Daley and Dan Holman combined to seal Braintree’s winner. Holman’s goal came following Daley’s wonderful chip into the striker’s path; the 23-year-old then swivelled and shot into the bottom corner leaving Kettings with no chance.

Hyde tried to rally forward in the dying embers of the game but it was too little too late for the Tigers.

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