Saturday 28th April 2007
Hyde United: Craig Dootson, Chris Lynch, Danny Caldecott, Earl Davis, Michael Taylor, Nathan Wharton, Gerry Harrison, Steve Pickford, Dale Johnson (Lincoln Adams), Gareth Seddon (Paul Gedman), Nicky Clee. Subs not used: Scott Warner, Lee Rick, David German.
Droylsden: Phillips, Robinson, Warner, Ruffer, Burke, Morris, Tandy, Kelly, Fearns, Daly, Denham. Subs: Blake, Lynch, Jagielka, Fowler, Banim.
Droylsden arrived at Ewen Fields by open top bus to celebrate their status as Conference North Champions, whilst Hyde desperately needed a win in the hope that other teams lost enabling them to scrape into the play-offs.
As it was, both teams were disappointed as the visitors through away a goal lead by conceding twice in the last five minutes, whilst victory for the Tigers proved irrelevant as other results did not go their way. Hyde will rue the fact that a poor start to the season ultimately cost them dear as did the home defeat to Farsley on Good Friday.
The game itself proved to be a pretty scrappy affair overall and only really came to life in the last five minutes. For the most part the visitors were happy to let Hyde have much of the play in the tiring conditions.
The Tigers started the stronger with Nicky Clee and Gareth Seddon both going close before Dale Johnson struck a post when through on goal. There were a flurry of bookings around half-time with Gareth Morris, Jimmy Kelly and Steve Pickford incurring the wrath of the referee before half time and Nathan Wharton and Paul Phillips soon thereafter as players began to lose their cool in the hot sun.
The visitors took the lead on 52 minutes when Hyde lost possession deep in the Droylsden half, before the ball was quickly sent upfield for substitute Jody Banim, with his first touch, to score with an exquisite lob over the stranded Craig Dootson. Seddon again went close for Hyde as he attempted to equal Terry Fearnsí total for the season, whilst Clee almost scored after a long clearance from Dootson.
Hyde seemed to be running out of ideas and the game looked to be fizzling out until Johnson broke clear on the right with five minutes remaining. His inch perfect cross allowed Clee to fire home from eight yards. Suddenly the Tigers came to life, as they streamed forward. After a close shave, the ball was scrambled away and from the resultant corner, Paul Gedman, on for the tiring Seddon, headed home at the near post for an unlikely winner to at least give Hyde some consolation for missing the play-offs.
Report by Tony Beard