Friday 29th March 2002
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Hyde United: Richard Acton, Neil Critchley, Matty Taylor, Dominic Crookes, Paul Ashwell, Peter Band, Chris Young, Steve Foster, Simon Yeo, Dale Hawtin, Lee Evans. Subs not used: Damien Joyce, Ben Obong, Tom Brookes. Sent off: Lee Evans.
Runcorn: McMillan, Carragher, Gamble, Whalley, Tomlinson, Ellis, Price, Morley, McNeil, Lunt, Leadbetter. Subs: Ness, Cowley, Watson
After the euphoria of two successive wins, it was down to earth with a big bump, as Runcorn snatched the points with two minutes to go through Carragher in a dreadful match. My young son had the best idea, he slept throughout.To make matters worse, seconds before the goal, Lee Evans was sent off for aiming a kick at Kevin Leadbetter after he had been clearly fouled and will now miss three crucial games. New loan signing from Manchester City, Damien Joyce, was probably lucky to escape with just a caution soon afterwards for his first tackle in the Unibond, that can best be described as ill-judged. So everything happened in the last two minutes in a game of few chances. Peter Band was hero and villain in the second half as first he scrambled the ball off the line but then missed one of the few clear cut chances of the game.Nothing much else to report.
The game (on a beautiful warm sunny afternoon) had a no score feel from the start to bore the Bank Holiday crowd. The referee, Mr Morbin,who had always been behind play, had managed a quiet afternoon too, but paid the penalty for his leniency with a sending off and a handful of bookings, most if not all could have been avoided had he taken stronger action early. As usual in these circumstances, the first/worst challenges went unpunished and this was definately the case leading up to the Evans' sending off.
The pressure is still on the Tigers with at least three wins still needed and the games ebbing away. Two defeats against Runcorn haven't helped and in both games they have probably been lucky to win, but that's what happens when you are near the bottom. The game at Vauxhall all of a sudden takes greater importance.