Saturday 23rd March 2002
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Hyde United: Richard Acton, Lee Madin, Matty Taylor, Dominic Crookes, Paul Ashwell, Dale Hawtin, Chris Young, Steve Foster, Simon Yeo, Martin Filson, Lee Evans. Subs not used: David Nolan, Tom Brookes, Neil Critchley.
Bradford Park Avenue: Montgomery, Quinn, James, Lindley, Stansfield, Daly, Hancock,Benn, Hayward, Maxwell, Calcutt. Subs: OˇŻBrien, Richards, Bagshaw
In a tense relegation struggle, the Tigers came out on top with a fine battling performance. There were also a number of °firsts ±. The first Saturday home game for 10 weeks, the first home clean sheet since November and a first goal for Dominic Crookes in a Tiger's shirt.
Peter Band failed a late fitness test and joined Ben Obong and David Nolan on the physio's table. Michael Meszaros was also missing, but the Tigers welcomed back Martin Filson into the heart of the defence and Richard Acton in goal. Hyde started strongly with Steve Foster twice going close before he slotted home on 36 minutes after a great through ball from Simon Yeo. The Tigers had already survived an early scare when the ball struck Dale Hawtin's hand in the area after only four minutes. On another day it could have been a penalty. Remember them . they are what we never get!
The second half turned out to be a scrappy affair with the Tigers hanging on and in desperate need of a second goal to ease the tension. It duly came on 77 minutes as Crookes headed home Chris Young's corner. Youngy had another great game in midfield and is at last showing the Hyde faithful what he can really do. Breathing space at last and despite five minutes injury time (following a high tackle on sponsor's man of the match, Matty Taylor), the Tigers held on for another crucial three points.
Results could not have gone better for the Tigers, with only us winning of the bottom ten in the league. It is still possible teams who think they are 'safe', find themselves vulnerable. Bradford's management were under no such illusions and still believe they could be involved. On current form, however, Whitby and Colwyn Bay (who both conceded five goals) and Bishop Auckland, one win in plenty, are the teams we need to get in front of. Nine games to go, five at home and probably five wins needed. It's not impossible, but it would help if we beat Altrincham on Tuesday!