Saturday 19th January 2008
Hyde United: Craig Dootson, Chris Brass, Danny Warner, David Morley, Peter Band, Lee Cartwright, Dale Johnson (Nathan Wharton), Steve Bushell, Matthew Tipton (Chris Simm), Gareth Seddon, Nicky Clee. Subs not used: Mark Innes, Chris Lynch, Craig Robinson.
Alfreton Town: Sutcliffe, Mc Fadzean, Barnard, Wilson, Butler, Warne, Law, Walton, Clayton, Knox, Wilson. Subs:
After just one point from five games, four of which have been at home, Hyde’s Play-off credentials are seriously under threat after another inept performance at Ewen Fields.
This was another horror show from the Tigers after a bright start and ultimately Alfreton were comfortable winners after Paul Clayton had put them in front right on half-time and then Peter Knox grabbed a second with just five minutes remaining.
Hyde had Chris Brass back in defence as Bury’s game was postponed with Danny Warner making his debut at left back. Lee Cartwright replaced the suspended Steve Pickford in midfield and it was the Tigers had the better of the first half hour with Gareth Seddon twice going close, although Knox should have scored for Alfreton. Nicky Clee produced an amazing run beating five men in the process but was thwarted by a brilliant save from Kyle Sutcliffe. Sutcliffe produced an excellent handling display throughout in difficult conditions and fully deserved his man of the match award.
After the break, Alfreton looked stronger and more determined and were clearly in no mood to relinquish their lead. Hyde were reduced to playing hopeful balls into the area despite the introduction of the speedy Chris Simm, but the visitors defence stood firm, although they appeared to have some fortune on 61 minutes when the ball appeared to strike Mark Barnard’s hand in the area.
Hyde never looked likely to break their duck after that and it was Alfreton who continued to wreak havoc in the home team’s defence on the break. So it was no surprise when Knox ran through and slotted the ball home to seal victory in the dying minutes.
It was the first time the Tigers had failed to score at home this season but they had come up against some resolute and well organised defending on the day and could have no complaints. The defeat leaves Steve Waywell and his Management team plenty to ponder as Hyde’s play-off challenge has well and truly come off the rails, since they stormed to the top of the league in mid December. First priority has to be the defence which looks like it will concede every time the opposition attacks.