Saturday 27th October 2001
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Hyde United: Richard Acton, Gareth Liddle, Matty Taylor (Lee Matthews), Neil Critchley (Martin Doherty), Dale Hawtin, Peter Band, Chris Young, Ben Obong, Simon Yeo (Steve Foster), Martin Filson, David Nolan
Blyth Spartans: Paul Gilmore; Paddy Little; Graham Pepper; John Hutton; Richard Forster; Colin Morton; Neil Radigan; Carl Pepper; Craig Skeltern; Craig Perry; Steven Stewart. Subs: Glen Robson; Justin Keegan; Gary Innes
It has been a while in coming but this was one to savour. The Tigers played out of their skins and secured the first home league victory of the season with a superb display against a physical Blyth side.
It was Hyde who opened the scoring after only 3 minutes when a Simon Yeo goal bound shot was handled in the box by Colin Morton. Yeo coolly picked up the ball and tucked the resulting penalty into the top corner giving goalkeeper Paul Gilmore absolutely no chance. 7 minutes later it was again Yeo in the thick of the action as he blasted narrowly wide after fine work from Taylor.
Blyth were not to be outdone and started to get back into the game as Neil Radigan brought the best out of Richard Acton in the Hyde goal, first with a stinging free kick on 19 minutes and a long range effort midway through the half. Blyth were again foiled by Acton 3 minutes later when he dived bravely at the feet of Steven Stewart to hold on to a close range effort.
Hyde went further ahead on 23 minutes when Neil Critchley's pinpoint corner was met at the back post by Martin Filson who powered home a trademark bullet header to score on his Tiger's debut.
Blyth continued to press and showed they were not out of the contest as Matty Taylor scrambled to clear off the line following an inch perfect lob by Radigan. Minutes later the miss-hit shot by Stewart looped over Acton, hit the bar and came back into the grateful hands of the keeper.
With the referee looking to blow for half time Hyde almost scored again with a Simon Yeo header that flew just wide of the upright from a Critchley free kick. The fans didn't have to wait long for the third though, as only a minute later Hyde increased their lead when Chris Young was put clear by Yeo. His 35 yard drive completely deceived Gilmore and whistled into the bottom corner.
Blyth made changes at half time and they almost paid off only minutes into the second half as Craig Perry shot narrowly over. On 58 minutes it was again Acton to the rescue for Hyde as he superbly saved a looping header from Perry,
Hyde still pressed forward and were almost rewarded, after great work down the right by Obong and Young, when Band almost scored the fourth with a stinging drive that Gilmore in the Blyth goal could only parry.
The Blyth consolation goal came in the 89th minute when Stewart made the most of sloppy defending to plant the ball past Acton.
All in all a good day at the office - Martin Filson deserved his man of the match award, but a special mention must go to Matty Taylor who also gave an excellent performance, in fact it is impossible to single any one out who had a bad game.