Tomlinson hits hat-trick as Alfreton Town crush Hyde
ALFRETON Town celebrated an impressive and crucial win against Hyde at the Impact Arena last night.
The Reds made a positive start to this Blue Square Bet Premier clash, taking a fifth-minute lead which launched them towards their biggest home win of the season.
Ben Tomlinson robbed Tom Anderson on the left side of the penalty area before delicately chipping the ball over Hyde keeper David Carnell to open the scoring.
Alfreton's young on-loan keeper, Jordan Pickford, had his first touch in the 13th minute when he confidently beat out an angled drive from Alex Brown.
And the same Hyde player's follow-up was blocked by Darran Kempson as the Reds held on to their advantage.
Alfreton had some breathing space in the 15th minute when Tomlinson struck again.
A Josh Law corner was headed down by Kempson for Tomlinson to steer the ball home at the back post.
Hyde tried hard to reduce the deficit and after Adam Grriffin and Liam Tomsett went close, Grant Spencer saw his 38th-minute shot blocked by Adam Quinn.
Spencer then failed to convert at the back post after a swift break.
There was a lengthy delay at the end of the first half when Anderson had to be carried off on a stretcher with a suspected dislocated knee.
His replacement, Shay McCartan, almost made an instant impact, firing over from a tight angle.
Five minutes into first-half added time, a punt by Matthew Blinkhorn from 20 yards had to be pushed around the post at full stretch by Pickford to ensure the Reds' held their two-goal lead at the break.
The home side could breathe easier 70 seconds after the interval when they increased their lead to leave Hyde on the ropes.
Paul Clayton was brought down by Carnell as he ran on to a through ball from Nathan Arnold and Tomlinson eagerly took the opportunity to clinch his hat-trick with the resulting penalty, making it 3-0.
Alex Brown had a shot blocked by Leigh Franks in the 61st minute as Hyde tried to find a way back into the contest.
But Alfreton continued to look dangerous and five minutes later, a confident Tomlinson shrugged off two Hyde defenders to create an opening but could only fire into the side-netting.
It was 4-0 to the Reds in the 69th minute when Arnold's deep lob found Clayton, who waited patiently for the ball to bounce before stabbing it past Carnell from six yards to increase Hyde's misery.
However, the visitors never gave up and deserved their 79th-minute consolation when a swift break through the middle resulted in substitute Danny Broadbent finding the far corner of the net from 15 yards.
Alfreton were still hungry for more goals and, seven minutes from time, Kempson's firm header from a Law corner was saved by Carnell as the home side pushed forward again.
To complete a memorable evening, 10 seconds from the end of added time Scott Boden registered his first goal for Alfreton from close range after being set up by Clayton.