Saturday 12th April 2008
Hinckley United: Jones, Roma, Bonner, Lavery, Platnauer, Birch, Story, Richards, Webster, Kelly, Lloyd. Subs: Murphy, Edwards, Storer (K), Storer (S), Belford.
Hyde United: Craig Dootson, Chris Brass, Andrew Teague, David Morley (Chris Lynch), Shane Killock, Peter Band, Lee Cartwright, Steve Pickford (Nicky Clee), Matthew Tipton, Gareth Seddon, Chris Simm. Subs not used: Lee Rick, Carlos Da Garca, Mark Innes.
This was another typical end of season game with little to cheer the spectators. A downpour before the kick-off had left the pitch sodden in places and for the first half most of interest was off the pitch as thunderstorms circled the ground.
Once again the Tigers appeared to be cruising only to concede a set piece goal and then found nothing in the tank to fight back. It has to be said that Hinckley had plenty more to play for, but that is no excuse with the talent Hyde have in the side, and the small band of travelling fans made their views known to the Management as the game progressed..
In a game of few chances the lightning quick Leon Kelly twice went close for the Knitters in the first period as they battled to climb out of the relegation places. In injury time a through ball from Andrew Teague found Matthew Tipton who scored with a superb lob to give the Tigers an unlikely lead and at least some hope.
The second period followed a similar pattern with Hyde looking dangerous on the break despite defending deeply. Disaster struck for the Tigers however on 57 minutes when a needless free-kick was given away. Before it could be taken, Dave Morley had to be substituted as his neck had locked. With the Tigers still in disarray Richard Lavery got behind the defence and scored from close range.
In the closing stages, Chris Simm twice went close for the Tigers. Firstly Michael Jones made a good save with his knees and then a minute later Nicky Clee set up Simm again. His shot was parried by Jones and Gareth Seddon just failed to reach the rebound, but it always looked like the home side would get the decisive goal..
Hinckley pushed me forward to get the victory they desperately needed and with six minutes remaining Tom Birch headed home from a corner to secure the victory. It was hard on the Tigers, but for the umpteenth time this season they had conceded goals from set pieces.
For Steve Waywell and his battle weary troops the end of season cannot come soon enough, although there are still a couple of difficult away trips to negotiate. On this form any points would be a bonus after seven straight defeats in the last nine games.