Saturday 8th December 2001
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Gateshead: Swan, Bowman, Talbot, Sunley, Jones, Agnew, Morell, Thompson, Preen, Mc.Alindon, Anderson. Subs: Bowey, Painter, Kitchen
Hyde United: Richard Acton, John Foster, Dale Hawtin, Neil Critchley, Paul Ashwell, Peter Band, Chris Young, Ben Obong, Lee Matthews (Gareth Rowe), Steve Foster, David Nolan. Subs not used: Gareth Liddle, Gavin Salmon.
A dismal day on Tyneside as Gateshead put their money troubles behind them to record a convincing victory over the sluggish Tigers. Hyde were without Matthew Taylor, Martin Filson and Simon Yeo through injury, but that was no excuse for an ineffectual performance which now leaves them in deep trouble at the foot of the table. Dale Hawtin and John Foster returned to the defence whilst Bemjamin Obong and Steve Foster returned up-front. Gareth Liddle dropped to the bench.
The Tigers had not settled by the time Gateshead took the lead on seven minutes through Preen. It could have been worse as they had already hit the bar when it looked easier to score. it got worse five minutes later as skipper Steve Agnew hammered a free-kick direct into the net which left questions over the wall's and keeper's positions.
For the rest of the half, Hyde had most of the play but had no bite in the last quarter and seemed reluctant to shoot. Gateshead's keeper, Swan looked edgy but there was never enough pressure to test him. Hyde needed an early goal in the second half to get back into the game but contrived to concede another within a minute of the restart. Richard Acton made a brilliant save but Morrell was on hand to knock the ball in the net. More pretty football from the Tigers but no punch or commitment where it mattered and it was no surprise when Preen added a fourth with five minutes left. The persistent Obong pulled one back at the final whistle after the keeper had failed to hold a Chris Young shot.
Overall a very disappointing performance in a game we would have expected to get something from with all the troubles surrounding Gateshead's future existance. Malcolm McDonald was in the stand to show his support. How much the Tiger's needed someone like him up-front. Perhaps even now! A familiar story of many games this season, conceding early goals and then be chasing the game with not enough fire-power up front.