Lowestoft Town 3 Hyde 0
Lowestoft Town get three points, three goals and a clean sheet in a comfortable 3-0 home win over bottom side Hyde.
Apologies for the slightly briefer report than usual but I was involved in live commentary of the game on the Hyde FC broadcaster 26nil (http://www.26nil.com/)
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Lowestoft Town: Jones, Ainsley, Sowunmi, Gleeson, Haynes-Brown, Lee Smith (Mason 77 mins), Fisk, Jarvis, Eagle, Reed (Woods-Garness 75 mins), Crow (Bammant 68 mins)
Subs not used; Okay, Jessup
Hyde: Timms, Brizell, Brownhill, Lomax, Hall, Racchi, Hughes, Pearson, Bentham (Masterson 62 mins), Giverin (Sousa 77 mins), Almond
Subs not used; Riley, Thurston, Pachipis
Lowestoft went into the game with the management having the forgotten luxury of a nearly full squad to pick from, with only longer term absentees Adam Smith (hamstring), Marsden (ankle) and Henderson (groin) unavailable for selection. Hyde had brought in a few new faces over the last week or so and one of those was Pearson, who was returning to the club for a second spell.
The blues flew out of the traps and with some sharp and incisive passing they found themselves with a two goal lead just before the twenty minute mark. The first came in the fifth minute when good work down the right saw Ainsley pick out Eagle at the far post and with him connecting on the volley, it was 1-0 (5 mins). Lowestoft then doubled their advantage with goalscorer turning provider, as another Ainsley cross was sent to the far post and Eagle was on hand to head the ball across goal and into the path of Reed, who took a touch before rifling the ball into the ground and over the flailing keeper for 2-0 (17 mins).
It was all one-way traffic but as the half progressed the visitors started to see their fair share of possession on a heavy and sticky pitch that was proving tricky for both teams. Almond was first to fire an effort in from close range but the reactions of Jones saw the Lowestoft shot stopper pull off a fine save to turn it over the bar. Then it was Almond again for Hyde, hitting a fizzing shot from fully 25 yards that had top corner written all over it but Jones took flight towards the top corner and produced one of the saves of the season; outstanding. It had been a good end to the half by the visitors but with Jones to thank, Lowestoft left the pitch with a two goal lead.
The second half was only five minutes old when things went from bad to worse for the visitors as Fisk and Almond tangled together, ending with Fisk going into the book and Almond being shown a straight red for kicking out.
Lowestoft were now looking comfortable and didn't have to wait too long before grabbing a third and effectively putting the game to bed. Central defender Hall was already having a bad day for Hyde, having given away a number of passes in the first half and it was Hall who was at fault for the third goal. With him being caught in possession in a dangerous area, Reed won the ball off him and charged into the area but as he tried to go round the keeper, Timms he was bowled over and it was a penalty. Ainsley is pretty much unstoppable from the spot and as calm as you like he stroked the penalty home and it was 3-0 (62 mins).
The goals were nearly added to even further for the blues with Sowunmi glancing a header wide from a corner and then following a great passing move, Jarvis fired home for what would have been a beautiful football goal but he was adjudged to be offside and the goal was ruled out.
A consolation goal nearly came for the visitors but a fiercely hit effort from just inside the area was charged down by Lowestoft, as the Trawlerboys coasted home to take the three points and a clean sheet in a 3-0 victory.
There could be no arguments with the result but Hyde will be left thinking 'what if', had Jones not denied them with two top drawer saves in the first half, in which Hyde could have come off the pitch in better shape. However, Jones did his job superbly in both of those instances and the blues never looked in trouble in the second half, easing to the win. New boy Danny Crow showed brief signs of quality and got just over sixty minutes of match fitness under his belt, having not played a competitive game for some time and will be looking to increase that and bed into the team in coming weeks.
Jones deserves praise for two outstanding saves, of which the second was truly sensational. While at the back Haynes-Brown was alert and strong defensively but also highly active in using the space in front of him. Reed had another good game with a bullish performance up top, scoring his seventh goal of the season and winning a penalty for his side.
However, the man of the match was close but in the end was a unanimous vote by myself and two Hyde commentators up in the commentary box. On a tricky pitch to play football, his quality and skill on the ball, along with his movement was a pleasure to watch. He's been pretty off colour this season by his standards but with his performance today, along with a goal and an assist; my Man of the Match is Robert Eagle.
Lowestoft Town are next in action on Saturday, when they travel to Brackley Town who currently sit just two points and two places above them in the table.