Saturday 24th January 2009
Hyde United: Elliot Bernstein, Chris Lynch, Adam Oakes, Lee Rick (Joel Igenoza), Farrell Kilbane, Neil Fitzhenry, Karl Munroe, Tom Manship, Daniel Douglas-Pringle, Chris Simm, Nicky Clee. Subs not used: Mark Innes, Chris Cooke, Paul Howarth, David Morley.
Tamworth: Allcock, Lyttle, Langdon, Smith, Wylde, Foster, Birley, Shaw, Sheldon, Rodman, Pritchard Subs: Sheridan, McAughtrie, Reid, Burgess, Morrison.
For much of this game, it was hard to distinguish who was at the top of the table and who was at the bottom as Hyde made league leaders Tamworth fight all the way until the match was settled with a disputed penalty three minutes from time to give the visitors an undeserved victory.
The Tigers were rocked before the kick-off as Craig Dootson failed a late fitness test in the warm up and was replaced by Elliot Bernstein who went on to make a string of excellent saves to keep the Leaders at bay.
Referee Mr Toner had already upset the Hyde faithful when he booked Nicky Clee for what seemed an innocuous tackle, never mind a foul on 15 minutes, but he atoned seven minutes later when Chris Smith brought down Chris Simm in the area and he awarded a soft penalty. Simm sent ‘keeper Danny Alcock the wrong way from the spot to take his tally to 15 for the season.
Tamworth equalised on 40 minutes when Bernstein tipped Michael Wylde’s header onto the bar and Matt Birley scrambled home at the second attempt. It was hard on Hyde who probably deserved a half time lead.
In the second period Tamworth looked dangerous from set pieces with a considerable height advantage, but Farrell Kilbane and Neil Fitzhenry stood firm and when the visitors did get through, Bernstein was on hand with a series of great saves.
With the game looking like it would end in deadlock, Karl Munroe tackled Chris Smith following a corner. There were no appeals from Tamworth but the referee pointed to the spot for what looked like a decision to even up his first half one and Alex Rodman hammered the ball home to break the Tigers’ hearts after they had put so much into a tough game.