Saturday 21st April 2007
Hinckley United: Bowles, Brown, Shilton, Cooper, Love, Birch, Cartwright, Jackson, Marrison, Kelly, Nurse. Subs: Story, Johnson, Platnauer, Wykes, Redmile.
Hyde United: Craig Dootson, David German, Danny Caldecott (Paul Gedman), Earl Davis, Lincoln Adams, Scott Warner (Chris Lynch), Gerry Harrison, Steve Pickford, Dale Johnson, Gareth Seddon, Nicky Clee. Subs not used: Michael Taylor, Lee Rick, Damien Quigley. Sent off: Gareth Seddon.
The destiny of this game changed on 52 minutes when Gareth Seddon was controversially sent off by referee Paul Thompson.
Seddon was breaking clear down the left when he was held around the neck by Tom Birch. As Seddon attempted to break free, Birch went to ground clutching his face. A melee ensued with Seddon subsequently ordered to the dressing room, whilst Birch was fortunate only to be booked. The referee later said he had clear sight of the incident which begs the question why he had to have such a long conversation with his assistant. It was a big decision and certainly a turning point of the game.
The Tigers did not play well but still managed to create a number of chances in a pretty dreadful game. The pitch was very hard and heavily sanded which didnít help matters, and Hyde were never really in control after they went a goal down inside the first five minutes. Once again the defence failed to deal with a long cross and Leon Kelly was on hand to hammer the ball home.
Sean Bowles made a superb save to thwart Earl Davis on fifteen minutes and he was again called into action five minutes later when Dale Johnson set up Seddon whose shot rebounded off the keeperís knees and was cleared off the line. The Knitters played an offside game and Hyde continually fell into the trap, whilst Bowles caught everything which came his way.
Once Seddon has departed early in the second half, The Tigers were left with an uphill task. Danny Caldecott was sacrificed at the back as Paul Gedman was introduced upfront. He first telling contribution was a goal bound effort which Bowles again saved well. Hyde tried to apply some concerted pressure, but were always up against it and the game was settled on 70 minutes when substitute Owen Story ran half the length of the pitch to score as Hyde pressed forward.
The referee added six additional minutes but it was to no avail, but he summed up his own inept performance by booking Steve Pickford for his first foul of the game in the closing seconds.
Hinckley progress to the play-offs, leaving the Tigers still clinging to a mathematical chance, but on this showing neither team would be sending shock waves through the Conference.
Report by Tony Beard.
Gareth Seddon Sent Off after 52 minutes.