Saturday 8th September 2001
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Blyth Spartans: Gilmore, Morton, G Pepper, Innes, Forster, Keegan, Radigan, C Pepper, Robson, Perry, Stewart. Subs: Hutton, Williams, Dixon.
Hyde United: Richard Acton, Paul Ashwell, Matty Taylor, Dale Hawtin, Chris McCready, Peter Band (Nehru McKenzie), Martin Doherty, Neil Hall, Lee Matthews (Steve Foster), Gavin Salmon, Neil Critchley (Josh Howard)
A familiar story as the Tigers made it seven defeats in a row in a cool and very windy North East. Plenty of possession, plenty of neat football but disasterous at both business ends. Two goals conceded following set pieces and a host of chances missed at the other end.
The Tigers were missing skipper John Foster who had picked up an injury on Tuesday and Simon Yeo .In their places came a recalled Paul Ashwell and Lee Matthews for his first full match. The defence generally played better with Chris McCready again having an outstanding game and Ashwell making some strong runs from right back. It was up front really where the Tigers struggled. Gavin Salmon had a match to forget and overall Hyde could not put enough pressure on Spartans 'keeper Gilmore who was hampered by a thigh injury from early in the first half.
There was a strong wind blowing down the ground but despite losing the toss, the Tigers had battled well against it in the first half and really had done well to only be a goal down at the interval and that was following a needless free kick. How many goals conceded have come that way? In the second half with the wind at their backs the Tigers camped in Blyth's half without ever looking totally convincing. Blyth had one further chance and they scored despite a valiant effort from Richard Acton.
So where do we go from here? Just one victory in the last seventeen league games puts matters into perspective. Two home games to come this week and nothing less than six points is needed. But where are the goals going to come from? Simon is suspended for the next three games!