Saturday 25th August 2001
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Burton Albion: Not available
Hyde United: Richard Acton, Dale Hawtin, Matty Taylor, Stuart Taylor (Nehru McKenzie), Paul Ashwell, Peter Band, Martin Doherty, Neil Hall, Simon Yeo, Steve Foster (Lee Matthews), Neil Critchley (Josh Howard)
A mauling for the Tigers on their first visit to Burton for 14 years. It could have been so different though as Simon Yeo hit a post in the first five minutes and a couple of other chances went begging before Richard Acton got in all sorts of trouble with a routine save and Darren Stride hammered home. Steve Evans added a second soon afterwards and the Tigers went in two goals down.
After the break Matthew Duke in the Burton goal made a great save from Yeo. In fact the 6ft 6in keeper looked commanding all afternoon as well as kicking very long clearances that kept the Tigers under constant pressure.
Nigel Clough came on at half-time and added a 81st minute goal but not before another substitute Sean Farrell had scored twice within four minutes of coming on to leave the Tigers reeling at 5-0 down. A spirited late rally saw Lee Matthews pull one back and there could have been another as the Tigers finished the stronger of the two teams.
A familiar story really...early missed chances then falling behind and never looking like getting anything from the game.
The Tigers welcomed back Dale Hawtin signed from Gresley Rovers earlier in the day to play at right back in place of injured John Foster and Martin Doherty back from injury in midfield. Nehru MacKenzie dropped to the bench. Overall a very disappointing performance with only Matthew Taylor, Peter Band and Neil Hall able to reflect on reasonable performances. The scoreline possibly flattered Burton a little, but the facts are the Tigers have everything now to do on Monday when they meet Hucknall ( kick -off 7.45pm) with both teams currently pointless.
It was always going to be a difficult start with three tough matches, but a return of no points and ten goals conceded puts it into perspective. The first job for Mike and his backroom staff is to stop shipping goals and get some confidence into a defence which is now shell shocked and looks edgy everytime they have to defend. Hawtin added some stabilty today but there is a long way to go.
A word or two about Burton.They are a very well run friendly club with lots of obvious wealth around, lots of people off the pitch and a brilliant set-up. In Nigel Clough they have a manager like ours who wants to play football. They certainly move the ball around well and will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season. Interestingly enough Nigel has seen us twice this week and says we are the best team he has seen in the last couple of weeks and didn't think we should have lost so heavily today. That is scant consolation as you head back up the M6 on a coach that has seen better days and players with reputations suddenly under the microscope.