Hyde 1 Fleet 0

Fleet’s Conference South league status for next season was all but confirmed – barring a maximum 12-point haul and +16-goal bonanza in the final four games at the very least – as 10-man Hyde held on to take the three points that should keep them in the division.

Nathan Elder returned from suspension in place of Moses Ashikodi while Craig Stone moved into right back, relegating Joe Howe to the bench. But luckless Stone was helped from the field midway through the first half after a clash of heads that appeared to be quite serious until the Fleet No.2 managed to get off the floor, Howe replacing him in defence.

Liam Enver-Marum hit the bar with a shot on 42 minutes but as with so many other things this season, that near miss for the visitors signalled a collapse at the other end of the field as Hyde raced upfield, Louis Almond delivering the ball for Matthew Blinkhorn to turn over the line. And the game exploded further on the stroke of half-time when Adam Griffin and Liam Bellamy tangled and with punches thrown and elbows involved, the referee deemed Griffin worthy of a red card and Bellamy a yellow.

Fleet just couldn’t make the extra man count in the second half, the nearest they came was Tom Phipp’s late shot that goalkeeper David Carnell did very well to keep out.

But keep it out he did, extending the visitors’ long winless away run and all but ensuring this would be one of the Fleet’s last trips to northern England for some time.

TEAM: Edwards, Stone (Howe 27), Gwillim (Luzardo 82), Walsh, Saville, Barrett, Bellamy, Carew, Phipp, Enver-Marum, Eder (Ashikodi 60). Subs not used: Menz, Azeez
Att: 385

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