Thrown flare sets Hyde pitch on fire

MK Dons fans are chipping in to pay for repairs to a pitch damaged by a flare in the FA Cup first round.

A Hyde supporter threw the pyrotechnic onto the 4G pitch before kick-off at Ewen Fields, which set fire to the artificial surface.

The flames were quickly put out and referee David Webb decided to allow Friday’s game to go ahead, but Hyde face a hefty repair bill.

Supporters of League One MK Dons have now created a crowdfunding page to try to raise £1,000 for the Northern Premier League Division One North side.

David Drysdale, who set up the fundraiser, told BBC Sport: “The idea came about through a discussion on an unofficial MK Dons online forum. Another fan, Andrew MacPherson, who had been to the Hyde game suggested our supporters come together and raise funds to contribute towards the costs of the pitch repair.

“We all agreed it was a fantastic idea to show support to a non-league club and so I created the page.”

The match, televised by the BBC, saw MK Dons beat their seventh-tier opponents 4-0.

It was the first time in 20 years Hyde had reached the first round but they now face having to spend a significant chunk of their prize money and broadcast fee on the repairs.

“From what I heard, the bill for repairing the surface is over £12,500, which is a huge commitment for any non-league club,” continued Drysdale.

“Hyde’s chief executive, Mark Worthington, recently mentioned