Saturday 22nd November 2003
Northern Premier League First Division
Hyde United: Tim Mullock, Steven Clegg, Ian Pendlebury, Paul Jones, Craig Buckley (John Gaynor), John O'Kane, Nicky Hill, Phil Salt, Neil Tolson (Tony Ellis), Anthony Wright, Matty McNeil. Subs not used: Tony Watts.
Chorley: Bracey, Varley, Pryers, Vermiglio, McCartney, Leather, Mills, Patetrson, Barker, Eatock, Clitheroe. Subs: Wilkinson, Repullo, Porter
Another good performance from the Tigers, but this time the opposition did not cave in and Hyde couldn't find the net when it mattered. Chorley put up a battling display, got men behind the ball whenever they needed to, and held out for a draw. They had a bit of luck from time to time, but nobody could begrudge their point from their efforts.
Hyde carried on from where they left off on Monday. Flowing moves all around the pitch, but the Chorley defenders were in an uncompromising mood and the midfielders chased and harried for every ball. They certainly did not look like a team with just one win in the last twelve. Lee Bracey saved most the Tigers could throw at him and when he was beaten there was always a defender on the line.
In the second half, Hyde stepped up a gear and after 50 minutes Anthony Wright forced a good save from Bracey, but he should have scored. Seconds later, Dave Eatock who had a great game for Chorley, found himself with the goal at his mercy, but blasted wide. It would have been an injustice if they had scored. On 70 minutes, Wright almost scored again, and Neil Tolson blasted the rebound wide. It was all Hyde now as Chorley started to wilt. Lee Pryers cleared off the line from Matty McNeil and then Wright found the net, but a zealous linesman flagged for offside. The ref consulted and the goal was disallowed. A marginal decision. With just three minutes left, John O'Kane pushed forward and unleashed a goalbound effort, but again Bracey was up to it.
Hyde defended well when they needed to and Tim Mullock again looked the part in goal, but to be honest had very few direct saves to make. Phil Salt was well marked in midfield and Hyde lost the impetus of Craig Buckley who got a deadleg early on and was substituted at half time. Mc Neil and Wright covered every inch up front, but unfortunately it was just one of those days. It wasn't a bad game, but it just needed a goal.
Worse still for the Tigers after the final whistle with news that all the other teams near the top had won and despite picking up 10 points from the last 12, the Tigers had dropped three places to sixth! This Division is just so tight and will remain so, I think, until the last game.