BOSTON UNITED 3 HYDE 1: Southwell bags a hat-trick... but Vince sees red in a crazy afternoon

Dayle Southwell.
Dayle Southwell.

Deadly Dayle Southwell scored a superb hat-trick as Boston United got back to winning ways, putting Hyde to the sword.

The striker took his season’s tally up to double figures by mid-October with three clinical finishes in the second half.

Hyde may be bottom of the league with one win in 13 - or three in 64 if you look back as far as the tail end of the 2012-13 season - but that won’t upset the Pilgrims one bit as they did enough to cast those back-to-back defeats to the backs of their minds.

However, the game did not finish without controversy as keeper Sam Vince saw red for a swipe on Connor Hughes - leaving left back Greg Tempest to finish the contest in goal.

Dennis Greene made four changes to the side which exited the FA Cup at Evo-Stik Division One Lee last week, but it was how he set his side up which raised more eyebrows.

Full backs Zak Mills and Rene Steer were pushed forward onto the wings in a 4-4-2 formation, with Tempest, back in the side, and Liam Marrs dropping into the spaces left and adding support to the central pairing of Scott Garner and Carl Piergianni.

Sam Vince retained his place in goal with Paul Farman not makin the squad after picking up a shoulder injury in training.

Realising his side has been lacking midfield bite, the manager reinstated Conor Marshall and Michael Hollingsworth - the squad’s two most uncompromising tacklers - into the centre of the park while Conner Robinson returned to the attack alongside Southwell.

The four players making way were Jay Dowie, who has since left the club, Marc Newsham, Kaine Felix and Kyle Dixon while returning striker Mark Jones had to wait on the bench for his chance.

Hyde missed an absolute sitter less than two minutes into the game when Tom Bentham - slipped in by Reece Gray and with just Vince to beat from close range - blazed his effort comically high of the mark.

Seven days earlier Leek’s Liam Shotton had had missed an open goal against the Pilgrims. But in so many ways, Bentham’s miscue was more wasteful and pivotal.

Then came the two quickfire opportunities which suggested the United manager’s decision was less of a gamble and more of a tactical masterstroke.

Firstly, Marshall released Mills on the right before the midfielder sprinted a full 40 yards to meet the cross and narrowly volley over while at full stretch.

Seconds later Mills was granted another crossing opportunity. This time his whipped ball was met by Steer, only for Billy O’Brien - the Hyde keeper on loan from Manchester City - to palm away the effort from on the goalline.

O’Brien was a mere spectator when Piergianni - who had just executed a wonderful full-stretch challenge to thwart Adam Blakeman at the other end - met Tempest’s corner.

However, the powerful header whizzed inches wide of the Tigers’ far post.

That Tempest-Piergianni combination drew out another chance for the Pilgrims as the first half drew to a close, but this time O’Brien got down well to save.

The Pilgrims finally took the lead three minutes after the re-start.

And how much that goal meant to Southwell - it was his first in four matches, and his eighth of the season - was evident by his fiery celebrations in front of the Town End.

After Robinson had attempted to round O’Brien, the Hyde keeper palmed the ball out wide, only for Tempest to cross in the ball and Southwell to volley home from close range.

It wasn’t the toughest finish he’ll ever execute, but the look on his face showed that he didn’t care one bit.

Robinson burst through on goal moments later but yet again he couldn’t get the better of O’Brien.

And that miss almost proved costly as Bentham’s header looked to have found the net, only for Vince to pull off a vital reaction save.

Southwell offered up the striker’s version of the old London bus cliche in the 57thth minute as he headed home his second of the day.

Mills’ cross was flicked on by Piergianni and Southwell’s goalpoaching instinct saw him in the right place to flick the ball into the net.

Goal number two saw the game go a little flat, but United looked the more likely to add to the tally as Hollingsworth blazed over and Mills saw a curler saved.

With six minutes left Joe Conchie slotted home from close range.

But as Hughes looked to wrestle the ball from Vince, the United keeper swiped a leg out, tripping the Tiger up.

Referee Tom Bramall had no option other than to brandish red, leaving Tempest to don the gloves.

And the defender - who played between the sticks in his youth - pulled off two bvital stops from distance, even if he was a spectator when Blakeman rattled the bar.

At the other end, sub Jones had a chance to mark his return with a goal but he fired over.

UNITED: Vince, Marrs, Steer, Marshall (Felix 83), Garner, Piergianni, Mills, Garner, Piergianni, Mills, Hollingsworth, Southwell, Robinson, Tempest; Subs (not used): Galinski,, Fallah.

HYDE: O’Brien, Brizell, Brownhill, Lomax, McQuade, Kerr (Riley 75), Hughes, Blakeman, Gray, Bentham, Almond (Conchie 75); Subs (not used): Mukuna, Tames, O’Connor, Coniche, Riley.

Ref: Tom Bramall.

Att: 942.