Saturday 15th December 2001
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Bradford Park Avenue: Montgomery, James, O'Brien, Wharton, Stansfield, Thompson, Hancock, Benn, Maxwell, Chambers, Hayward. Subs: Richards, Quinn, Lindley.
Hyde United: Steve Lyons, John Foster, Matty Taylor, Dale Hawtin, Paul Ashwell, Peter Band, Chris Young, Ben Obong (Martin Filson), Simon Yeo, Steve Foster, David Nolan. Subs not used: Neil Critchley, Josh Howard.
In their first visit to the Horsfall Stadium, the Tigers promised much but ultimately came away with nothing in a match they desparately wanted to win and should have won. Hyde started strongly and within ten minutes Simon Yeo, returning after injury, hit the bar with a great shot. Things were looking up, then disaster struck on 14 minutes as former Frickley star, Andy Hayward poked the ball home in a melee following a disputed free-kick.
John Foster got booked for his protests, firstly against the foul and then because the referee had not blown for the kick to be taken. In fact the referee, Mr J.D.Smith from Wakefield had a nightmare and infuriated both benches with pedantic behaviour. The Tigers remained on top but contrived to miss chance after chance. Montgomerie in the Bradford goal making his debut was having a 'mare but we could not capitalise. With 20 minutes of the half left, the lights went out where the Tigers were defending. true to form, Mr Smith insisted we carry on despite protests from both teams and the Assistant agreeing! Thankfully no goals were conceded in the gloom. Halftime duly arrived, the lights returned and within a minute of the restart, Steve Foster slotted the ball home for a deserved equaliser. It was then all Tigers. Thommo on the Bradford bench was losing humour with
his team and resorted to abuse. We cannot print it here, but he certainly got his point over. Tempers became frayed on the pitch as well with tackles flying in. John Foster came in for some stick, but the Tigers held their own. With a winner seemingly imminent for Hyde, Bradford won a throw in down near the corner flag. The ball was hurtled across and another melee produced another scrappy goal for Hayward. Ten minutes left. still time for Hyde to mount further attacks, but right on time O'Brien added a third scrappy goal to give the scoreline a surreal look based on the game. However the plain facts are that the Tigers conceded another three goals ina match they dominated. Admittedly Richard Acton and Martin Filson were missing from defence, but until we stop the tide, we won't climb out of the relegation zone. It was hard on the lads at the back as they had given their all. Other bad news for the Tigers was that John Foster picked up a booking to take him to five for the season and an automatic one match ban. He will miss the Burscough game. Chris Young also picked up a booking to make it ten for the season and he will also miss the Burscough game, if not more