Tuesday 7th February 2006
Northwich Victoria: Rogers, Payne, Chapman, Handyside, Carr, Charnock, Anderson, Battersby, Allan, Brayson, Sale. Subs: Devlin, Byrne (for Chapman), Mayman (for Sale), Roca (for Anderson), Connett.
Hyde United: Jean-Paul Ndjebayi, David German, Chris Lynch, Paul Jones, Mike Flynn, Nathan Wharton, Wayne Dean, Gerry Harrison, Nicky Clee, Dale Johnson, Matty McNeil. Subs not used: Nicky Hill, Neil Tolson, Danny Caldecott, Paul Armstrong, Steve Brackenridge.
Dale Johnson was Hyde's hero at the rain lashed Victoria Stadium on Tuesday as the Tigers deservedly defeated championship hopefuls, Northwich Victoria. It was Northwich's first league defeat of the season at their well appointed, but as yet, unfinished, new stadium.
Hyde welcomed back Nathan Wharton and Wayne Dean after their one match bans and were soon in their stride as Matty Mcneil put Johnson through on seven minutes and he made no mistake from a tight angle. With a strong wind behind them, the Tigers pushed forward and Wharton was only inches wide with a 45 yard free-kick. Gerry Harrison too went close with an absolute screamer. Jean Paul Ndjebayi made a couple of good saves, when called into action, but he also caused some panic when the ball squirmed from his grasp. It was a treacherous night for 'keepers and he did well overall.
By the second half, the wind had abated a little, but the rain continued to pour down. Hyde expected an onslaught from the home side, which never really came. The Tigers continued to play their controlled football and increased their lead on 57 minutes when Johnson headed home Wharton's pinpoint cross. The midfielder was unlucky not to increase Hyde's lead as Kristian Rogers just managed to beat out a thunderous shot.
Northwich were stunned and although having lots of possession, the Tigers stuck to their task. The home side pulled one back with six minutes left when Danny Mayman's cross evaded everyone to squeeze in past a stunned Ndjebayi and although there was still time for a couple of hairy moments, Hyde held out for a tremendous win to push them up to fifth. Thirty points since the start of December says it all.