Saturday 8th March 2008
Burscough: McMillan, Parry, McGinn, Fitzhenry, Kilbane, Davis, Moogan (B), Mc Culloch, Smart, Kilheeney, Noone. Subs: Tomlinson, Clancy, Moogan (A), Robinson, Hibbert.
Hyde United: Craig Dootson, Andrew Teague, Chris Lynch (Danny Warner), Chris Brass, Shane Killock, Gareth Morris, Peter Band, Steve Pickford, Matthew Tipton, Chris Simm, Nicky Clee (Neil Tolson). Subs not used: Mark Innes, Steve Bushell, Lee Rick.
Hyde spectacularly threw away a two goal lead and what seemed like a comfortable away win, by conceding three goals in the last half hour. Two of the goals came from unnecessary free kicks on the edge of the area and the other a needless penalty for handball.
With the play-offs seemingly now out of reach, Steve Waywell has to motivate his team for the rest of the season, whilst at the same time address how they can continue to collapse when in a comfortable lead. The Tigers have now lost thirteen league games which is totally disproportionate to the quality of players in the squad.
The Tigers welcomed back Craig Dootson from illness and Chris Brass from Bury and gave a debut to Gareth Morris from Droylsden. However Gareth Seddon was missing through injury, whilst Dave Morley and Lee Cartwright were recovering from bouts in hospital. Things got worse for Hyde as Chris Lynch had to leave the field after just fourteen minutes with concussion after being struck by an elbow.
The referee, Mr Holloway, missed the Lynch incident and then contrived to miss another as Andrew Teague was flattened by another wayward elbow. He was able to continue after treatment, albeit with a lump on his face. Chris Simm was taken out high and in full flow by Burscough Ďkeeper, Tony McMillan right at the end of the half, but the referee only showed yellow to complete a dreadful personal performance in the first half. He didnít significantly improve in the second.
Hyde had played with the wind for the first half and had camped in the Burscough half for long periods and should have been comfortably in front by the break. Morris and Nicky Clee, with free kicks, Matthew Tipton and Steve Pickford had all gone close for the Tigers as the home side wasted time in the expectation of having the wind in the second half. Dootson had also made a couple of good saves in rare breakaways.
The wind had abated by the start of the second half and Hyde did eventually get the ball in the net on 49 minutes as Peter Bandís left foot shot found the back of the net. Burscough had to replace Mc Millan, who was still limping from his earlier clash, with Zak Hibbert whose first job was to pick the ball out of the net when Simm headed home Morrisís corner.
Simm was inches wide a minute later and it looked plain sailing for the Tigers. However on 61 minutes a silly free-kick allowed Brian Moogan to thread the ball past the whole Hyde defence and into the net. Seven minutes later it all changed as Band handled a cross under pressure from former Tiger, Earl Davis and Ciaran Kilheeney made no mistake from the spot.
Hyde suddenly found themselves on the rack, but still had chances before another needless foul in the dying minutes allowed Moogan to score with a Beckham like free kick. It was a goal worthy of winning any game, but the fact was Burscough should have been dead and buried long before.