Saturday 18th October 2008
Hyde United: Craig Dootson, Chris Lynch (David Morley), Adam Oakes, Chris Brass, Steve Williams, Mark Innes, Nicky Clee (Chris Simm), Lee Cartwright, Chris Thompson, Phillip Marsh, Nathan Wharton. Subs not used: Lee Rick, David Owens, Elliot Bernstein.
Stafford Rangers: Sandercombe, Cullingworth, Loukes, Thorley, Pierpoint, Wilson, Palmer, Ingram, McNiven, Macpherson, Phillips. Subs: McMahon, Proffitt, Morris, Rogers, Allen. Proffitt for Thorley 46, McMahon for Phillips 84
This game only really came to life after David McNiven had put Stafford ahead on sixty seven minutes. Up until then a goalless draw was on the cards, but Hyde staged a great fightback to snatch an injury time equalizer through substitute Chris Simm and could have even snatched a dramatic victory.
Manager Neil Tolson had to sit in the stand for this match but he must have been impressed with the fighting spirit of his charges when they found themselves a goal down against the run of play.
Hyde had the better of the first half and had a chance as early as the first minute when Mark Innes lashed the ball over from a good position. Debutant Phillip Marsh then had a shot saved before another goal-bound effort from him was blocked.
Stafford weathered the storm and confirmed their standing as the tightest defence in the League, whilst at the other end Mc Niven had a half chance as he burst through. The visitors continued to look dangerous on the break and took the lead when Mc Niven took advantage of hesitancy in the Hyde defence and poked the ball home.
This prompted an immediate response from Hyde and Nathan Wharton was just inches over. Transfer-listed striker Simm was introduced and he immediately caused problems with his pace and he was only thwarted by a great save from Tim Sandercombe.
In a grandstand finish, Dootson saved brilliantly from David Macpherson before the referee indicated four minutes of added time, primarily for time wasting by the visitors. Tom Ingram had a chance to settle it for Stafford when he contrived to hit the bar with an open goal at his mercy before Hyde stormed up field for Simm to strike a sweet shot from just inside the penalty area to equalize.
David Morley was fouled right on the edge of the box with seconds remaining, but Wharton’s free-kick was agonizingly inches wide as Stafford hung on.