Monday 17th November 2003
Northern Premier League First Division
Hyde United: Tim Mullock, Steven Clegg, Ian Pendlebury, Paul Jones, Craig Buckley (John Gaynor), John O'Kane (Kieran Delaney), Nicky Hill, Phil Salt, Neil Tolson, Anthony Wright (Tony Ellis), Matty McNeil
Bamber Bridge: Sharrock, Swanick, Leaver, McCann, Bain, Kent, Turner, Shepherd, Wane, Massey, King. Subs: Squires, Honor, Fogarty.
Another scintillating performance from the Tigers to rocket them up to third place and launch a serious Title challenge. There was always a chance this could have been a bridge too far, but Hyde made Bamber look very ordinary and could have had ten on the night.
There was drama too before the kick-off as one of the assistants had an accident on the way to the match and couldn't continue. A hasty replacement was sought and he arrived with just ten minutes to go
It was a horrid wet night, but the surface was superb and the Tigers were soon in their stride. They could already have been in front, when Ian Pendlebury played a neat one-two and let fly with a screamer. Cyril Sharrock, who had replaced Graham Bennett since the last encounter, could only parry it, and Neil Tolson side footed home. Sharrock had a first half nightmare failing to hold the slippy ball and was lucky he did not concede more.
After 24 minutes, Dave Swanick returned to the stadium and announced his arrival with a needless foul on Craig Buckley. Bugsy took the kick and Matty McNeil headed in at the far post. Two minutes earlier Nicky Hill had scraped the bar with another screamer. If the game wasn't already over as a contest, it was fourteen minutes later as comical defending allowed Anthony Wright to score easily.
In the first match Bamber had only ten men for an hour and blamed that for their defeat, but there were no excuses here. The Tigers continued the second half in the same vein and McNeil added a fourth with some beautiful skill before dinking the ball over the unfortunate Sharrock. Despite Bamber having more possession, it was still Hyde creating the chances. Substitute Kieran Delaney went close twice and McNeil nearly got his hat-trick with a deft flick after Tony Ellis had set him up.
So all in all, a brilliant night for the Tigers. Neil Tolson won the sponsors' man of the match, but it could have been any one of six on the night. All three forwards were superb, Bugsy and Hill covered every inch of the sodden turf, whilst the defence looked composed on a difficult night for defending. Tim Mullock again did everything he had too and is proving to be a good signing already.