Saturday 8th August 2009
Hyde United: Michael Jones, Dean Stott, Chris Lynch (Mark Lees), Scott McNiven, Ashley Eastham, Nathan D'Laryea, Robbie Smith, Tom Manship, David McNiven, Scott Mooney (Lee Rick), Nathan Arnold. Subs not used: Daniel Barrie, Ben Rowbotham, Paul Armstrong.
Stafford Rangers: Harrison, Francis, Kasiama, Thorley, Wilson, Owens, Morgan, Moult (Welcomme 65), Mills (Proffitt 78), Davidson, Amos. Subs not used: Hulme, Rogers, Allen
Hyde secured the points in this pretty dour encounter when new signing Nathan Arnold slotted the ball home with fifteen minutes remaining. Stafford pressed hard for an equaliser thereafter but a combination of good defending and the excellence of Michael Jones in the Hyde goal kept them out.
The pitch was perfect and the weather set fair but the match didnít live up to the conditions with the first half being instantly forgettable apart from the frequent stoppages, primarily for offside.
It was perhaps understandable both sides struggled with plenty of new faces on show, with Hyde having no less than nine debutants including the McNiven twins. It was understandable that they failed to gel in the first period.
After the break the game picked up and Scott Mooney broke clear for Hyde only to be thwarted by Stafford reserve Ďkeeper, Tom Harrison. Tom Manship was inches wide for Hyde, but the visitors were still dangerous on the break and Jones saved well from Nick Wellcomme.
Harrison saved well again from Mooney before man of the match Dean Stott was just inches wide with a screamer for the Tigers. The goal came on seventy five minutes when Chris Lynch won the ball well on the left before the ball was slotted through to Arnold , who make no mistake. There was possibly a hint of offside, but the home fans cared little as the highly rated winger finished coolly.
Stafford came back strongly and twice Jones had to produce excellent saves and when he was finally beaten Stott was on the line to clear to ensure Hyde held on to their slender lead and start the season with three hard earned points
Scott Mooney strikes on goal - Pic: Don Goodwin
Nathan Arnold breaks the deadlock - Pic: Don Goodwin