Monday 22nd February 2016
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Hyde United: Sam Vince, James Burke, Kyle Brownhill, Andrew Pearson, Adam M Jones (Andreas Bianga), Laurie Bell, Billy Reeves, Phattaraphol 'Big' Khamsuk (Reece Gray), Pete Boyle (Jordan Snodin), Ayrton Bevins, Ben Holmes. Subs not used: Zeekell Parkes, Frank Van Gils.
Whitby Town: Bland, Martin, Robinson, Weledji, Poole, McWilliams (Gardner), Gell, Hopson, Roberts (Scarth), Waters, McTiernan. Subs not used: Maughan, Bullock, Dixon.
Report from Whitby Town Website
Two goals after 10pm completed a miserable few days for the Blues, as fellow strugglers Hyde United came from behind on Monday night.
Congestion caused by serious accidents on the M62 and M1 meant Whitby Town arrived at Hyde, just before 8.30pm, leading to a first-ever 9pm start for the Seasiders.
Speaking after the game, Blues boss Chris Hardy admitted the result, just two days after a 1-0 loss at Grantham which ended a six game unbeaten run, was: "a big disappointment" and sucked Town back into a relegation dogfight, adding:
"We created momentum and unfortunately we've lost that on the back of two disappointing results.
"I don't believe there was a lot in either game- fine margins- but offensively we haven't fired really and defensively, we've given away some soft goals."
Hardy made two enforced changes with Richard Pell unavailable and fellow centre-half Lee Bullock picking up a knock on Saturday. In came Jamie Poole and Mark Robinson as Town switched to four at the back and pushed Andy McWilliams onto the left wing.
The visitors showed little indication of their three and a half hour bus trip early on with Mikey Roberts showing good movement, popping up on the left-edge of the box but firing well wide, on six minutes. Nor had Hyde overly-warmed themselves up while they waited as the lively Big Khamsuk tricked his way to the byline and pulled back for Pete Boyle to drill against Shane Bland's right-hand post, soon after.
Roberts again appeared on the left of the penalty area, with 14 minutes gone, but saw another snapshot deflected wide. However, within two minutes, Town had the lead. Dale Hopson's inswinging, left-wing corner was dropped by goalkeeper Sam Vince and there was Dave McTiernan to slide home at the near post. The Blues then almost doubled their advantage, before the 20-minute mark. Callum Martin sped down the right and crossed for Roberts to turn, first-time, inches wide of Vince's right-hand post. Roberts was again the danger man, before half-time, as his persistence and deceptive strength saw him get between skipper Andy Pearson and the ball, near the byline, only to go down in the box but see referee Aaron Jackson wave away Whitby shouts for a penalty.
Usually reluctant to criticise referees, Hardy felt his side deserved better:
"Let's put it this way, if they were to have the same scenario at the other end and the penalty wasn't awarded, I would have felt very fortunate." he said.
"It was a nailed on penalty- there wasn't a decision to be made there, it was made for the official- but, for whatever reason, he opted against it.
"I think, for anybody in the ground, looking at that with a true football perspective, they would agree that was a penalty. The circumstances were too clear cut for it not to be, ie. Mikey getting his body between the ball and the man, and the defender making some type of clumsy challenge."
Hyde nearly caught Town with a sucker punch, moments later, as the tricky Ben Holmes cut in off the right flank and drilled across the face of the Blues' goal and wide.
To their credit, the hosts, coming into the game with just one win in 20, stepped things up after the break, introducing Reece Gray and Jordan Snodin, son of ex-Leeds star Ian, for Khamsuk and Boyle at the interval. Within two minutes of the restart, Hyde's leading marksman, Ayrton Bevins, came to life following a quiet first period. He benefited from a busy run and a favourable bounce, forcing Bland to save superbly, low to his right, from 12 yards.
Matty Waters saw a deflected effort loop narrowly off target for Whitby, before the hosts levelled with a disputed freak goal. Just seven minutes into the second half, a long ball was sliced high up in the air by Blues centre-half Kieran Weledji, with Bevins backing into Bland, the ball bounced on the top of the bar and dropped perfectly for the striker to tuck home his 16th league goal of the season.
Again Hardy felt aggrieved.
"I thought contact with goalkeepers in and around the 18 yard box, as a rule, is an immediate free kick." he said.
"There certainly seemed to be enough contact to warrant a free kick, for me."
Hopson showed good skill to flick the ball away from an opponent before firing straight at Vince on the half-volley, however, Hyde turned the match on its head, midway through the second half. Laurie Bell's pinpoint cross from the right found an unmarked Bevins, who stooped to nod past Bland at the far post.
Town almost hit back within two minutes when the unlikely figure of left-back Robinson turned and fired against Vince's left-hand post, with the keeper beaten, from 20 yards.
Bland was then forced into another excellent point-blank save to deny the equally-impressive Snodin, with a combination of the Blues keeper and Martin later preventing successive efforts, ten minutes from time.
By now, Hardy had thrown on teenage forward Tyler Scarth for Roberts with Ross Gardner replacing McWilliams as Whitby went with three up front for the last 12 minutes.
Hopson volleyed high over the bar after good work from Robinson and moments later, Gardner's early shot struck a Hyde defender and Scarth inside a crowded Hyde six-yard box, before James Burke hooked clear.
The home side saw out the remaining three minutes of injury time well, almost adding a third when a stranded Bland sliced his clearance straight to Gray, who fired wide from 30 yards.