Saturday 6th January 2007
Gainsborough Trinity: Bagnall, Wood, Caudwell, Ellis, Pell, Parker, Trout, Needham, Bird, Hannah, Graves. Subs: Austin, Purkiss, Frost, Smith, Charles. Sent Off: Graves
Hyde United: Jean-Paul Ndjebayi, Paul Howarth, Chris Lynch (David German), Earl Davis, Michael Taylor, Nathan Wharton, Gerry Harrison (Steve Brackenridge), Steve Pickford, Dale Johnson (Paul Gedman), Gareth Seddon, Nicky Clee. Subs not used: Lincoln Adams, Lee Rick.
The Tigers made heavy weather of beating 10 man Gainsborough on Saturday and were indebted to a rare Nathan Wharton header nine minutes from time to clinch the points. Craig Dootson was missing with ‘flu, whilst David Flitcroft had joined Rochdale as Assistant Manager as Steve Waywell had to juggle his squad before the kick-off.
On a dismal wet afternoon in Lincolnshire both sides struggled in the early stages to get to grips with the difficult pitch, although Chris Lynch, under the weather himself, cleared off the line after just four minutes. Dale Johnson then went close before Steve Pickford was put clear. He was brought down by Eric Graves, but it needed the Assistant referee’s intervention for the referee to award the free kick and send off Graves as the last defender. Gareth Seddon then had a screamer brilliantly turned onto the bar by debutant ‘keeper, Andrew Bagnall before he headed home Wharton’s cross on thirty five minutes to put the Tigers in front.
Two minutes later Nicky Ellis rattled the bar for Gainsborough as the game flowed from end to end. The referee was again the centre of attention five minutes after the restart. When he stopped play following a corner, he appeared to give a goal kick but stunned everybody in the ground by awarding a penalty for an alleged shirt pull. Earl Davis was booked so he was presumably the ‘culprit’ and Simon Bird stroked home the penalty.
However Hyde were back in front five minutes later after a great piece of skill from Seddon set up Johnson who headed goalwards. The ‘keeper got his hands to the ball before it trickled over the line, but the Tigers joy was short-lived as Bird rose to head past Jean Paul Ndjebayi six minutes later.
Gainsborough would not lie down and as the pitch became heavier, it was survival of the fittest. Hyde’s superior fitness and man advantage began to tell and with just nine minutes to go, Nicky Clee’s shot was parried out to Wharton who made no mistake as headed home from fifteen yards. It was nothing less than he deserved after the captain’s inspirational performance and his third goal in five games after a barren spell.
Hyde should have won easier, but the conditions were heavy and energy sapping for the second time in the week and they have scored ten goals in the process, so it is hard to have anything but admiration as they continue to improve.