It was on reflection one point gained for Hyde United given Kingsley James’ sending off at home to Lancaster City in the premier division of the Pitching In Northern Premier League.

The Tigers were forced to play the final 20 minutes and five of added time with 10 men after the midfield player’s dismissal which manager Dave McGurk was unhappy about.

He said: “The sending off was a shambles, a farcical decision.

Andy Hollins

“The lads were niggling all game and the referee (Alex James) was waiting for something to happen, and it wasn’t there.

“None of the Lancaster players or officials were asking for a sending off.”

James was given a red card after Lancaster captain Simon Wills went down clutching his face following an aerial challenge which the referee must have deemed leading with his arm.

McGurk, delighted how his side “dug in” with 10 men to earn a draw, described the game as encapsulating their season so far, tight at the back but lacking a cutting edge.

“We have conceded six goals in six league games but scored only five. We need a bit more at the top end, something we are working on,” he said.

Lancaster made a whirlwind start with 18-year-old winger Jacob Holland-Wilkinson unstoppable.

The loanee from Preston North End, forced a fine save from Joe Green before opening the scoring in the fourth minute.

The second-year scholar cut in from the right and fired an unstoppable shot high in to the far top corner of the net.

Holland-Wilkinson quickly went from hero to zero as he conceded the free kick which led to Hyde’s seventh-minute equaliser, a well-placed Andy Hollins header from Liam Tongue’s delivery.

Tongue and Paddy Lane had first-half chances to put the Tigers ahead for the first time.

Andy Hollins

The score remained 1-1 at the break thanks to a brilliant save from Hyde goalkeeper Joe Green to deny David Norris, 39, the former Leeds, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Ipswich and Blackpool striker.

In the second half, Holland-Wilkinson hit the upright with a drive following another impressive run while after the sending off Green stood tall to deny substitute Paul Dawson who was put clean through on goal.

Hyde failed to create a clear-cut chance in the second period, though they were rarely troubled defensively in what will be their final game for at least one month because of the new lockdown which will stop all football in the pyramid from NPL downwards.

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