Saturday 13th April 2002
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Hyde United: Richard Acton, Damien Joyce, Matty Taylor, Dominic Crookes, Paul Ashwell, Peter Band, Lee Madin, Steve Foster, Ben Obong, Dale Hawtin, David Nolan. Subs not used: Tom Brookes, Mike Meszaros, Simon Yeo.
Altrincham: Edgington, Rowland, Swanick, Maddox, Sertori, Hawes, Poland, Craney, Strange, Thornley, Ryan. Subs: Murphy, Daniel, Thompson
This was a tremendous game, especially after all the drab affairs we have had at home recently. Three precious points, but whether they will be enough remains to be seen, but on the day, the Tigers could not have done more.
Hyde were missing Chris Young and Lee Evans (both suspended) and Martin Filson and Neil Critchley (both injured) whilst Simon Yeo was not fit enough to start the game. Altrincham had former Hyde favourite Kurt Edgington in goal. He was suitably clad in a TMI jersey he borrowed from us. They had other injury problems too, but still fielded a strong team with Rod Thornley impressive up-front before he leaves with the England party this week to continue his physio duties.
After a defensive mix-up, Hyde took the lead on seven minutes when Steve Foster lobbed over the advancing Kurt. If a couple of chances had been taken, it would have been all over, but Altrincham fought back and Gareth Strange scored a superb equaliser from the edge of the box on 34 minutes.
Worse was to follow for the Tigers as Danny Murphy gave Altrincham the lead a minute after the break with only his second touch. No lying down this time from the Tigers and six minutes later the hard-working David Nolan was held back in the box. A penalty. Remember those? Foster sent Kurt the wrong way. No mean feat that, as he used to save them for us.
Minutes later Dominic Crookes was unlucky to see a volley deflected over the bar, but on 64 minutes he was on hand to score helped by a couple of defections. It didn't matter how it went in, it just did and then an agonising 30 minutes to hang on. Lee Madin could have sealed it but scuffed his shot wide after a great move, but that would have spoilt the last 15 minutes! The Tigers were defending desperately, plenty of injuries, bookings and tactical substitutions and the return of Simon. Two minutes injury time was held up in error. It should have been four, but turned out to be six with more injuries. Heart tremors galore, but the Tigers held on. Who said there was no spirit in the team?
Stars for the Tigers were Foster up-front, Damien Joyce in midfield and Crookes and Paul Ashwell at the back, but everybody played their part in a fully committed performance.
Full marks to Altrincham who gave so much to the game. I can't remember when we last did the double over them, (Cheshire League days?) but both wins were fully deserved and shows what we can do with the right attitude.
Three games left and still 9 points to play for. A win at Hucknall would make things interesting we have won on both our previous visits!! Be there!! Coach leaves 11.30am, but seats must be pre-booked or you could travel with Luke on a dozen trains. The choice is yours as they say.