Saturday 30th August 2008
Harrogate Town: Provett, Toulson, Lowe, Ingram, Whittle, Peat, Young, Dunning, Marshall, Holland, Roddy. Subs: Smith, Gray, Ormsby, Reay
Hyde United: Craig Dootson, Wayne Maden, Chris Lynch (Milton Turner), Chris Simm (Mitchell Bailey), Karl Munroe, Chris Brass, Lee Cartwright, Gerry Harrison (Lee Rick), Matthew Tipton, James Dean, Nicky Clee. Subs not used: Chris Coward, Elliot Bernstein.
Hyde welcomed back Matthew Tipton, Nicky Clee and Chris Brass for the trip to Wetherby Road, but lost Jamie Tandy in the warm-up, Gerry Harrison after only 12 minutes and Chris Lynch and Chris Simm in the second half.
This was always going to a tough assignment for the out of form Tigers and so it proved. A reasonably competent first half performance where they were marginally the best of the two teams followed by a second half collapse culminating with two goals conceded in a minute around the seventy minute mark.
After that there was no realistic way back but Hyde battled to the end and James Dean broke clear with a minute left and scored a fine goal to give the home side a tricky couple of minutes, but it was too little too late for the Tigers.
Clee and Tipton both went close in the first half, whilst Craig Dootson had to be at his best with two long range efforts. Hyde worked hard in the first period and clearly began to frustrate the home team and home fans alike as half-time approached.
However the second half was a different story. Harrogate stepped up the pace as they attacked down the slope and were frequently thwarted by the heroics of Wayne Maden and Dootson’s brilliance. Hyde’s luck ran out on 69 minutes when substitute Jamie Smith headed home a Danny Holland cross. A minute later it was all over when Richard Marshall drove the ball home after a deflection.
The home side were now well on top and two more saves from Dootson prevented a rout before Dean’s late consolation.
A narrow defeat on paper against one of the League’s best sides may not seem too bad, but in all honesty the scoreline flattered the Tigers and three straight defeats away from home and four in total confirm Hyde are struggling to get their season off the ground. An immediate recovery is needed and possibly the introduction of some new blood, but just getting all the injured players fit again will be a good start.