PREVIEW: Nowhere to Hyde as Fleet aim to avoid drop

PREVIEW BY JOE GLIDEWELL
Ebbsfleet United look to avoid certain relegation for another game as they face another long midweek trip. The Fleet will travel to Hyde knowing that a loss and wins for Nuneaton and Lincoln will seal their fate.
Hyde FC
Founded – 1885
Nickname – The Tigers
Ground – Ewan Fields
Manager – Scott McNiven
Captain – Adam Griffin
Top Scorer – Phil Jevons (15)
Hyde FC were formed in 1885 and joined the Lancashire and Cheshire Football Federation as Hyde United in 1919. A year later Hyde joined the Manchester League and by 1930, they had won it five times. Hyde’s record attendance came in 1952, when 7,600 fans turned up to watch a match against Nelson FC.
In 1955, Hyde made their first appearance in the FA Cup first round proper, only to lose 5-1 to Workington. At that point, Workington were managed by the legend that is Bill Shankly.  In 1968, Hyde became founder members of the Northern Premier League, but couldn’t commit to the cost of travelling so went back to the Cheshire League. After twelve years in the Cheshire League, the club were elected into the Northern Premier League.
In 2005, United won promotion to the Conference North for the first time in their history. On 24 September, 2009 Hyde United were officially ‘wound up’ with debts of around £120,000. However, just six days later this decision was reversed. A monumental effort by club officials, supporters and fans meant that they raised enough money to lodge an appeal against the decision. Some of the money raised included a bucket collection at a Manchester City Premier League match. The club finished that season in 15th, ensuring safety. The start of the following season saw a change at Ewan Fields.
The club changed their name back to Hyde FC, and changed the colour of their kit to White shirt with Blue shorts as part of a sponsorship deal with Manchester City. 2011/12 was a great year for the Tigers. They were promoted the the top of Non-League for the first time in their history.
Manager Gary Lowe and assistant Martyn Booty resigned paving the way for Scott McNiven and Gavin McCann to come in. On what is believed to be the lowest budget in the League, you have to admire the work McNiven has done. The Tigers have a whole host of Football-League experience amongst their squad, with players such as Phil Jevons, Adam Griffin, Matty Blinkhorn and Chris Sedgwick in the side.
An excellent five-match winning streak in March saw the Tigers rise up the league and are now all but safe.
Two goals in three minutes were enough to give Braintree all three points at Ewan Fields. James Mulley put the visitors ahead three minutes before half-time and then turned provider as he set up on-loan Ben Wright right on the stroke of half-time. Hyde fought back valiantly but could only reduce the defecit to one when Jamie Milligan struck home seven minutes from time. The Tigers sit in 14th place in the table and although they are only four points ahead of the drop zone, one more win should be enough to secure safety in the Blue Square Premier.
After surrendering two points away at Barrow, the Fleet threw away another two points on Saturday as they drew at home to Nuneaton. The hosts took the lead ten minutes before the interval when Tom Phipp’s volley looped into the net, but Town’s top scorer Andy Brown equalised in the last minute of the match. Too many times this season the Fleet have been unable to hold onto leads. The Fleet remain in 23rd position and are edging closer to relegation.
KEY PLAYERS:  
Hyde look to on-loan Louis Almond. Since joining from Blackpool in February, the striker was instrumental in Hyde’s five match winning streak. The youngster has picked up the Blue Square Bet Premier ‘player of the month’ award for March. His goal against Hereford has been described as “Bergkamp-Esque”. Another player who has been playing well for the Tigers is midfielder Scott Hogan. Since signing, he’s scored three goals and made four assists in just eight appearances. They’ll certainly be hoping they can keep hold of him!
Tom Phipp has been playing well for the Fleet lately. A short spell out of the side and a few games playing in defence has seen the midfielder stepping up to the plate well and he’s beginning to show signs of the form we saw from him in the Blue Square Bet South. Liam Enver-Marum has attracted his critics this season, but recently the striker has looked hungry again. He’s been chasing down balls, getting into good positions and is eager for goals. The Fleet will be hoping he can return to the form that saw him hit 13 goals last season – although that said his return of 10 this season is still impressive in a struggling side.
TEAM NEWS:
Hyde are without Josh Brizell who is serving the second of a three-game suspension, and Alex Brown could be a doubt as he’s picked up a virus. Hyde midfielder Mark Allott has retired from the game. The thirty-six year old has been restricted to just five starts since joining in January, due to injury and illness. He’s going to be focusing on Coaching his academy. On-loan midfielder Liam Tomsett is one game away from picking up a suspension as he’s accumulated nine yellow cards this term.
Moses Ashikodi started his first match since November on Saturday, and will be looking to return to the scoresheet sooner rather than later. Full-back Craig Stone made his return from the subs bench and new signing Ubay Luzardo came on for his debut. He’ll be hoping to get a start soon.
HYDE’S LAST SIX MATCHES (LDWWWW): 
Hyde 1-2 Braintree Town
Barrow AFC 1-1 Hyde
Hyde 2-0 Wrexham
Hyde 2-1 Cambridge United
Hereford United 1-2 Hyde
Hyde 3-0 Dartford
EBBSFLEET’S LAST SIX MATCHES (DDLLDW): 
Ebbsfleet United 1-1 Nuneaton Town
Barrow AFC 1-1 Ebbsfleet United
Braintree Town 3-1 Ebbsfleet United
Ebbsfleet United 0-2 Forest Green Rovers
Cambridge United 1-1 Ebbsfleet United
Ebbsfleet United 4-1 Southport
PREVIOUS LEAGUE MEETINGS: 
The two clubs have never been in the same division up until now, meaning there has only been one meeting between the sides. The Fleet ran out winners after a magnificent comeback.
10.11.12. Ebbsfleet United 3-2 Hyde
LAST TIME OUT: 
10.11.12. Ebbsfleet United 3-2 Hyde.
Hyde came out of the blocks racing into a two goal lead, with goals from Ryan Crowther and Matty Blinkhorn. It was too easy for the Hyde attack, but fortunately they didn’t score any more. Midfielder Neil Barrett reduced the defecit 10 minutes from the break and Elder levelled with 72 minutes gone. Matt Godden had come on for his debut, and was on the scoresheet straight away as he got in behind the defence to smash home the winner with 11 minutes left. The Fleet held on for the win and moved five points above their opponents.
Attendance: 779

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