Saturday 27th September 2003
F.A. Cup 2nd Qualifying Round
Ashton United: Trueman, Thackeray, White, Allison, Adams, Royle, Fluery, Garvey, Denney, Johnson, Cooney. Subs: Dormer, Dyson, Aspinall, Wilson, Johnston
Hyde United: John Baker, Anthony Kielthy, Ian Pendlebury (Tony Watts), Paul Jones, Craig Buckley, John O'Kane, John Gaynor, Phil Salt, Neil Tolson, Anthony Wright, Matty McNeil. Subs not used: Tony Ellis, Mike Meszaros, Glyn Barker, Anthony Callaghan.
This was a pulsating local derby with Ashton probably creating the more chances, but the Tigers having the majority of the play, especially in the second half as the match reached an exciting finale. In the last minute Neil Tolson could have sealed it for Hyde, whilst in injury time John Baker made a superb save (one of many) to take the match to a replay at Hyde on Monday.
The Tigers were without Steven Clegg, injured at Kidsgrove and Mark Westhead, who has returned to Stevenage. Anthony Kielthy and Baker deputised. Baker had a great game marred only by giving away a needless penalty, which Phil Denney converted on 50 minutes. Hyde were certainly up against it then, but they showed great character in the second half as they pounded the Ashton defence.
For the first half an hour or so, Ashton had most of the play on a very bumpy Hurst Cross pitch, but the Tigers, slowly but surely, clawed their way back into the game and were probably happy to go in at half-time level.
After only five minutes of the second half, they were behind, but then it was all Hyde. Ashton were still dangerous on the occasional breakaway and both defences were kept under pressure. Hyde had lost Ian Pendlebury at half time with a dead-leg, but Paul Jones and John O'Kane had brilliant games at the back, whilst Craig Buckley, suffering from blurred vision, covered every inch of the pitch, as did his mate, John Gaynor. As the game progressed. Phil Salt commanded midfield as Hyde piled on the pressure.
The equaliser came on 69 minutes and what a goal it was. Anthony Wright, without a goal in three games, cut in from the right and curled a left foot curler into the top corner. It was nothing less than the Tigers deserved and prompted delirious scenes on the terraces from what was a predominately Hyde crowd. The goal set up a grandstand finish with the Tigers piling forward with Ashton on the back foot, but they held firm and could have snatched it in injury time, without the intervention of Baker.
Numerous injuries and knocks to sort out for Monday, but the Tigers are still in the draw ( Monday 11am) after again showing great character in coming from behind.