Saturday 20th December 2008
Hyde United: Craig Dootson, Neil Fitzhenry, Adam Oakes (Mark Innes), Chris Brass, Farrell Kilbane, Chris Lynch, Daniel Douglas-Pringle, Lee Rick, Karl Lomax, Karl Munroe, Nicky Clee. Subs not used: Tom Manship, David Morley, Paul Howarth, Elliot Bernstein.
Alfreton Town: Sutcliffe, Marples, Brown, Butler, Wilson, Curtis, Muirhead, Hall, Davidson, Hearn, Law. Subs: Cusworth, Fortune-West, Ellender, Evans.
Lee Rick salvaged a point for Hyde with an 88th minute header off the line, but with tough derbies against Stalybridge coming up, the Tigers were really looking for a win.
Hyde were pushed back after a great start in which debutant, Carl Lomax went close, and were indebted to Craig Dootson after just ten minutes when he managed to divert a fierce shot from Josh Law onto the bar.
However it was Hyde who took the lead on 17 minutes. A long throw from Nicky Clee caused havoc in the Alfreton defence and the referee spotted a handball and had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Daniel Douglas-Pringle on his home debut made no mistake. Hyde went close again minutes later when a Rick twenty-yarder flashed just wide
Alfreton fought back and the dangerous Danny Davidson was thwarted on a one and one by Dootson. However the visitors drew level on 37 minutes when a clearance by Farrell Kilbane struck Liam Hearn and ricocheted into the net for a fortuitous goal.
After the break both defences tightened although Rick has a chance for Hyde before Law broke into the box at the other end and crashed the ball against the bar. Hyde were missing the unavailable Chris Simm, but the team rallied and showed tremendous spirit as the pressure increased in the second half.
Town had a great chance to take the lead on seventy six minutes when Kilbane was adjudged to have brought down Anton Brown in the area. However Dootson produced a brilliant save to keep out Hearnís well struck penalty.
Both sides had chances in the last ten minutes to win a thrilling game. Jordan Hall went close for the visitors whilst Douglas Pringle could have snatched a win for the Tigers before the all important clearance from Rick ensured the honours finished even on a very wet afternoon at Ewen Fields.