Saturday 21st February 2009
Stafford Rangers: Sandercombe, Francis, Loukes, Thorley, Daniel, Pierpoint, Flynn, Moult, McNiven, Wellecomme, Millar. Subs: Magee, Dodd, Buckham, Brannan, Allen.
Hyde United: Craig Dootson, David Morley, Adam Oakes, Mark Innes (Joel Igenoza), Farrell Kilbane, Karl Munroe, Chris Lynch (Paul Howarth), Tom Manship (Lee Rick), Daniel Douglas-Pringle, Chris Simm, Nicky Clee. Subs not used: Chris Cooke, Elliot Bernstein.
This was a game where you had wished you had stayed at home and watched it unfold on teletext. It was dreadful in the extreme. A poor uneven pitch didn’t help and neither did a pedantic referee, but the Tigers can only blame themselves for not taking something from the game.
A no score draw seemed the likely result from early in the game after Hyde had missed a couple of chances and the game settled down into abject mediocrity. A reasonable first half performance turned into a lacklustre second half one with not one shot to test Tim Sandercombe in the Stafford goal.
The game was ultimately settled on 77 minutes when the towering Wayne Daniel lumbered up the pitch and headed home a needlessly conceded free kick. There was no way back for Hyde and David McNiven compounded Hyde’s misery with a second goal deep into injury time.
This was a match that was there for the taking, but only Nicky Clee showed any fire for the below par Tigers despite suffering from a virus which inhibited his running, On this performance, Neil Tolson has plenty to do if Hyde are going to climb away from the relegation zone, especially with a succession of tough away games to come after Telford visit Ewen Fields on Saturday.