Saturday 10th March 2007
Worcester City: McDonnell, Ward, Khan, Smith, Thompson, Lyttle, Pearce, Cornes, Webster, Wilding, Clegg. Subs: Warmer, Findlay, Walker, Hodnett, Colley.
Hyde United: Craig Dootson, David German, Chris Lynch (Danny Caldecott), Lincoln Adams, Michael Taylor, Nathan Wharton, Gerry Harrison, Steve Pickford, Dale Johnson (Paul Gedman), Gareth Seddon, Nicky Clee. Subs not used: Earl Davis, Lee Rick, Jean-Paul Ndjebayi.
The Tigers maintained their challenge for a play-off spot with a spirited draw in this tough game against big spending, Worcester City. They were perhaps a little disappointed not to take all three points, but this was always going to be a difficult game and both sides had chances to win it. Paul Gedman could have clinched it at the death, but with the goal at his mercy, he struck the bar and the ball went over.
Worcester themselves had plenty to play for with a play-off position still a possibility despite their patchy form. On a difficult bumpy pitch, the first half was pretty ordinary although Nathan Wharton forced a fine save out of Danny McDonnell, whilst Steve Pickford had a lob headed off the line.
It was all change in the second period, as the game really livened up. Within a minute of the restart, Lincoln Adams found himself unmarked in the area, controlled the ball well and put Hyde ahead. Hyde’s joy was short-lived though as Des Lyttle scored a screamer seven minutes later to bring the home side level.
After 62 minutes, the Tigers should have had a penalty as Gareth Seddon’s goalbound effort clearly struck a defender’s hand. The referee ruled he was protecting his face, but his hands looked high. Ten minutes later Dale Johnson and the Seddon were just inches wide as Hyde piled forward. Not to be outdone, the home side were still having lots of possession and putting Hyde under pressure.
On 75 minutes, man of the match, Gerry Harrison, burst through to be clearly brought down by the ‘Keeper. The referee again played on and Seddon’s subsequent shot was handled near the line and this time the referee pointed to the spot. Seddon made no mistake to put Hyde in front.
The home side fought back strongly encouraged by the large partisan support. With just a minute left, there was an almighty scramble in the Tiger’s area, Worcester hit the bar and Craig Dootson made two amazing saves before Craig Wilding eventually scrambled the ball home
There was still time for Worcester to go close again before Gedman’s last minute miss, but Manager Steve Waywell said he was happy with the draw and had nothing but praise for his battling Tigers after this tense encounter.