Saturday 20th April 2002
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Hucknall Town: Young, Wright, Prindiville, Starbuck, Hicks, Gaunt, Mitchell, Cooke, Duerden, Ricketts, Burke. Subs: Newell, Bainbridge, Keegan
Hyde United: Richard Acton, Damien Joyce, Matty Taylor, Dominic Crookes, Paul Ashwell, Peter Band, Neil Critchley, Ben Obong, Simon Yeo, Dale Hawtin, David Nolan. Subs not used: Mike Meszaros, Tom Brookes, Martin Filson. Sent off: Peter Band.
A combination of poor defending and ill discipline cost the Tigers dear as they failed to get the three points they desperately needed to reach the play-offs. On a difficult rock hard pitch and already without Young, Evans and Foster through suspension, and Madin through injury, they lost Obong, Taylor and Critchley during the game with more injuries. In addition Peter Band was sent off for abusing an ineffective linesman. The officials will all have better days, but there is no point in disputing every decision, which goes against us. Decisions were poor both ways. We were still arguing when Hucknall scored their second. That's the ultimate price.
The first half had started so well with Ashwell's long throws causing all sorts of problems in the Hucknall box. The Tigers could have already been in front when Band headed on for Yeo to hammer home on seventeen minutes. If a couple more chances had been taken, it could have been all over, but Hucknall equalised with a well-worked goal through Ricketts, three minutes before half-time.
Within two minutes of the restart, Hucknall could have sealed it as two easy chances went begging, but they did take the lead on sixty minutes through Cooke with a quickly taken free-kick with the defence at sixes and sevens. A Yeo header produced a brilliant save from Young, but that was the nearest we came and Hucknall added a third on 83 minutes from substitute Newell after more woeful defending.
Still the faintest of technical chances to reach the play-offs but with a performance like this, we won't get the necessary two wins. A dramatic improvement in both performance and discipline is needed for Monday night. Our disciplinary record is dire. As well as collecting almost four times more bookings than teams like Vauxhall and Burton, we are also losing players through suspension. Three were missing from this game and Bandy will have three games at the start of next and if there is a God, miss the play-offs too.