Monday 17th April 2006
Alfreton Town: Rayner, Mills, Featherstone, Clarke, Friars, Nwadike, Howard, Fisher, Rankine, Stevenson, Litchfield. Subs: Godber, Powell, Bettney, Bodkin, Robinson.
Hyde United: Mark Crossley, David German (Chris Lynch), Paul Armstrong, Nathan Wharton, Mike Flynn, John O'Kane, Neil Tolson, Gerry Harrison, Nicky Clee, Dale Johnson, Cayne Hanley (Steve Brackenridge). Subs not used: Danny Caldecott, Paul Jones, Wayne Dean.
This was very much 'end of season fayre' with Alfreton showing a slightly greater desire and in the process inflicting a 2-0 defeat on the Tigers, which is their heaviest away defeat of the season.
A firm pitch and a swirling wind made for an instantly forgettable first half apart from a twenty yarder from Nathan Wharton, which clipped the bar. The second half wasn't really much better. Alfreton took the lead on 66 minutes through a screamer from Chris Howard, which deceived Mark Crossley and then grabbed a second two minutes from time through Sam Litchfield, although Neil Tolson had been fouled in the build-up. Between the goals, Man of the match by a mile, Jon Stevenson saw his spectacular volley rebound 20 yards off the crossbar.
Nicky Clee caused the home side a few problems, but was unceremoniously fouled whenever he threatened. The home side also showed their cynical streak by playing on with Gerry Harrison prostrate on the pitch after a bad tackle, when the referee tried to give Hyde advantage. It didn't work and Alfreton were inches wide at the other end with the Hyde defence expecting the ball to be put out. Hyde should have known better as Alfreton had made the headlines earlier in the season for a similar incident. Apart from that there was little serious action apart from a possible penalty to the Tigers for a handball, although it would have been harsh.
The good news for Hyde were the returns of John O'Kane and Paul Armstrong after long term injuries with both players surviving the full 90 minutes.