HYDE 1 BOSTON UNITED 3: Southwell stars as Pilgrims move up to sixth

Dayle Southwell.
Dayle Southwell.

One down, nine to go.

Seven days earlier Boston United manager Dennis Greene declared his side needed to win 10 of their final 14 matches if they they were to have any hope of finishing inside the play-off places.

And his Pilgrims responded by picking up three points at basement side Hyde, moving up to sixth in the table in the process.

In fairness, it will probably be the simplest victory United will claim away from the Jakemans Stadium this season, against a side whose defence had all the togetherness of a pre-assembled jigsaw puzzle.

But after last season’s complacency at struggling Workington, United will be pleased to have avoided any potential bananaskins, while also earning their first victory on the road in eight attempts - that last win away from home coming at Chorley in November.

For United, Dayle Southwell turned the screw in attack, scoring the opener before teeing up both Mark Jones and Kyle Dixon.

Hyde began the match looking every bit the side who were miserably rooted to the bottom to the Vanarama North, having conceded 78 goals prior to kick off.

As holes rapidly appeared in the Tigers’ backline Southwell was presented with two good opportunities, one well saved by Ed Wilczynski and the other rifled wide.

But the striker did grab his 19th goal of the season in the 29th minute, finishing off a move which included pace, precision and power.

Winning the ball 40 yards from goal he showed more desire than the two markers he outsprinted before placing his low strike beyond Hyde’s on-loan Huddersfield Town keeper.

Kyle Dixon, one of three changes to the Pilgrims’ starting XI, almost marked making his move to the club permanent by scoring his first United goal, but his powerful low strike swerved inches off target.

Rene Steer, back from suspension, and Kaine Felix also lined up from the start as Scott Garner, Massiah McDonald and Tom McNamee missing out.

Mark Jones grabbed his third goal in four matches five minutes before the interval as he kept his composure to guide Southwell’s square ball into the net.

Hyde have won just two league games all season and began the day without a win in their previous 10 contests, something which was hardly tough to believe when they only created one shooting opportunity in the opening half - Luke Givern’s hopeful 20-yarder being comfortably gathered by Joel Dixon.

The second half began with United replacing the injured Felix with Michael Hollingsworth before Southwell almost made it 3-0.

Capitalising on more slack defending the forward snuck in between defence and keeper, only to see his volley hit the side netting.

Dixon did make it three with his first goal for the club with 61 minutes gone.

Again, Southwell was the provider. Latching onto Grant Roberts’ ball over the top he took his time before picking his pass, allowing the midfielder to slide home from close range.

Filled with a newfound confidence, Dixon tried his luck again with a well-struck effort from distance, but this time Wilczynski got enough behind the ball.

With eight minutes remaining, Hyde got their consolation to mirror the scoreline of the Pilgrims’ victory in the home fixture.

Making the most of Carl Piergianni’s sliced clearance, Pete Boyle drove beyond Joel Dixon at his near post.

And Boyle almost reduced the arrears further seconds later, only for the Boston keeper to get his revenge with a firm stop.

Joel Dixon had to be on top of his game again seconds later as Josh Brizell’s strike was turned onto the bar.

The last time Boston faced Hyde at Ewen Fields the Tigers won 4-1 to be crowned Conference North champions.

At lot has changed since April 2012, and nine more victories could create an even wider gulf between these two sides.

HYDE: Wilczynski, Brizell, Brownhill, Pearson, Ng, Racchi, Giverin, Boyle, Bentham (Masterson 70), Holmes, Hughes; Subs (not used): Gregory, Pritchard, Sousa, Riley.

UNITED: J. Dixon, Marrs, Steer, Roberts, Mills, Piergianni, Felix (Hollingsworth 48), K. Dixon, Southwell, Jones (McDonald 74), Walker (Newsham 73); Subs (not used): Vince, McNamee.

Ref: Simeon Lucas.

Att: 456.