Friday 8th February 2002
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Hyde United: David Felgate, Neil Critchley, Matty Taylor, Dominic Crookes, Paul Ashwell, Peter Band, Chris Young, Steve Foster, Simon Yeo, Martin Filson, David Nolan. Subs not used: Ben Obong, Lee Evans, Tom Brookes.
Lancaster City: Thornley, Rigby, Haddow, Birks, Kilbane, Sparrow, Clitheroe, Butler,Yates, Welch, Potts. Subs: Brown, Holliday, Mayers
Torrential rain before kick-off put this match in doubt and it was only after four pitch inspections the game could go ahead with a delayed kick-off at 8.15pm. Referee Rod Cook was soon vindicated as any surface water quickly disappeared through the sand based pitch, which then played superbly as the Tigers turned on the style against championship hopefuls, Lancaster City. It was a shame there was not more to see it as many spectators had been put off by the atrocious weather or gone home whilst the ref was deliberating.
Hyde, who brought back Martin Filson and Steve Foster up front and dropped Ben Obong and Lee Evans to the bench, were in charge from the outset with Simon Yeo twice going close in a one sided first half. Despite playing against the wind Hyde were the best team until Brian Butler put Lancaster in front in a goalmouth melee totally against the run of play. The Tigers fought back and Critchley was just inches wide with a free kick.
Within two minutes of the restart Ruud van Filson had hammered the Tigers level and then it was all Hyde as first Foster had a great shot against the post and then Yeo struck the bar. In between shots were blocked on the line but it just wouldn't go in. Lancaster were still a threat on the break and David Felgate handled supremely well in the conditions ( including some dives!) to keep them at bay. Both teams suffered at the hands of Mr.Cook who was inconsistent at best and who finished with a notebook full of names in a game without a bad tackle and played in excellent spirit throughout. Deja vu sprang to mind after Frickley away
A great all round performance from the Tigers and they were so desperately unlucky not to come away with the three points as Lancaster held on for a point. Nigel Clough and Gary Crosby from Burton had seen Hyde turn in another excellent performance, yet this was the first time we had even got a point. Emley away and Burton at home should have both produced wins as this one should. They are still convinced we are one of the best (and most unluckiest) teams they have seen this year.
Just a word on Lancaster City's manager Tony Hesketh. He has had pioneering hip surgery and will be out of action for a few weeks. All at Hyde wish him a speedy recovery.
All that's left is to watch the teleprinter at 4.45 to ensure our nearest rivals haven't picked up three points. We certainly deserved to!