Saturday 29th November 2003
Northern Premier League First Division
Farsley Celtic: Morgan, Russell, Annan, Shields, Mitchell, Stabb, Watson, Iqbal, Smithard, Midwood, Stammer. Subs: Henderson, Beech, Spence.
Hyde United: Tim Mullock, Steven Clegg, Ian Pendlebury, Paul Jones, Kieran Delaney (Tony Ellis), John Gaynor, Nicky Hill, Phil Salt, Neil Tolson, Anthony Wright, Matty McNeil. Subs not used: Mike Meszaros, John O'Kane.
This was a good performance from Hyde in windy conditions at Throstle Nest, as Craig Buckley and John O'Kane had both been ruled out before the kick-off. Nicky Hill went to centre half with John Gaynor recalled in midfield and Kieran Delaney given his first start. Only 117 fans were there to see it with at least half from Hyde.
The Tigers took the lead on eight minutes when Delaney shot home after Anthony Wright headed on. Eight minutes later, Hyde went further in front when Matty McNeil backheeled into the path of Wright who scored easily. By this stage, Hyde were well on top, but Farsley clawed their way back into the game , when a superb midfield ball by Michael Midwood was hammered into the net by Roy Stammer on 35 minutes. It was now all Farsley, and only a superb save from Tim Mullock kept the Tigers in front. Hyde were certainly glad to hear the half-time whistle.
Playing downhill with the wind behind them, Farsley's threat was nullified by the strong Hyde defence, superbly marshalled by Paul Jones and Hill, and it was Hyde who increased their lead on 56 minutes when Delaney's cross was superbly converted by Neil Tolson. Farsley twice came close and had strong claims for a penalty, but it was Hyde who always looked more likely to score.
Not for the first time, Steve Waywell got his tactics exactly right. As Farsley increased the pressure in the first half, Wright was drafted back into midfield to combat the threat of former Tiger, Richard Annan and impressive left winger, Stammer. Wright responded superbly to keep Farsley at bay. In the second half when Delaney was forced to come off, Mc Neil played in midfield for the last quarter and he did well too.
This was a very tough fixture and the players responded with an excellent battling performance in very testing conditions. The lads showed good character when it mattered and are now seriously threatening the leaders with seven wins and only one defeat in the last ten league games.