Saturday 15th September 2007
Hyde United: Craig Dootson, Chris Brass, Chris Lynch, Craig Robinson, Peter Band, Mark Innes (Nathan Wharton), Lee Cartwright (Chris Simm), Steve Pickford, Matthew Tipton, Gareth Seddon (Dale Johnson), Nicky Clee. Subs not used: Earl Davis, Scott Warner. Sent off: Steve Pickford.
Burscough: McMillan, Tomlinson, McGinn, Flynn, Kilbane, Morley, Booth, Moogan, Robinson, Kilheeney, Leadbetter. Subs: Smart, Hibbert, Roberts, Bowen, Owens
Two free scoring teams and sixteen goals in the three games so far at Ewen Fields suggested this would be another goal feast. How wrong predictions can be. This was a dreadful game devoid of any meaningful action until the second minute of injury time when Dale Johnson edged the ball over the line for an unlikely winner.
It somewhat made up for the previous game at Gainsborough when the Tigers contrived to concede two goals in injury time, but it is the result that matters rather than the performance as they say. Steve Waywell commented afterwards that it is a sign of a good side who can play badly yet still secure the points, but Hyde certainly left it late.
Local MP James Purnell had opened proceedings by awarding the FA Groundsman of the Year award to Hyde’s James (Charlie) Skatchill. As expected the pitch was in perfect shape, so there can be no excuses for such a poor game.
Burscough were content to sit back and never showed any real urgency even when Hyde were reduced to 10 men with fifteen minutes remaining when Steve Pickford was sent off for a high tackle on his former team-mate Kevin Leadbetter. Pickford immediately apologised and despite a plea from the recipient, referee Adrian Madley produced a red card. It was a harsh decision in a game without a serious tackle, but perhaps he was appeasing the assessor in the crowd?
Chances were few and far between. Nicky Clee went close early in the second half whilst Neil Robinson should have done better with an header at the other end. As the half progressed, Waywell introduced all three substitutes in an attempt to get the Tigers moving. Johnson added much needed spark upfront, but the game still looked a certain no score draw, until Dale popped up at the death to grab the points for the Tigers.