Saturday 8th January 2011
Hyde FC: Russell Saunders, Dean Stott, Andrew Smart, Steve Halford, Scott McNiven, Chris Lynch, Mark Lees, Matty Burke, Dale Johnson (Neil Tolson), Shaun Whalley, Tom Manship. Subs not used: Lee Rick, Rob Turner, Ben Morris, Marcus Calvert.
Stafford Rangers: Ambrusics, Naylor, Dudley, Francis, McAughtrie, Johnson, Reid, Kinsella, Mills, Clarke, Edwards. Subs: Campbell for Clarke, Kamara, Sterling for Naylor, Forde for Reid, Evans.
Hyde won this basement battle at Ewen Fields more comfortably than the score suggests. The all important goal came after just seven minutes when Steve Halford rose above the Stafford defence to head in Shaun Whalley's corner. The Tigers created chance after chance in a one-sided first half, but couldn't increase their lead. Dale Johnson, who had a superb game for Hyde, twice went close and Andy Smart shot over when well placed.
Having shown absolutely no ambition in the first period, the visitors had more of the ball after the break but never looked like breaking down a resolute Hyde defence well marshalled by Halford and Scott McNiven. Russell Saunders in the Hyde goal only had to deal with crosses as Stafford failed to have a shot on target in the whole of the game.
Matty Burke on his return after suspension was an inspiration for the Tigers in midfield, while Johnson created havoc in the Stafford defence throughout. It was hard to believe that despite being behind from the 7th minute, the visitors had no appetite to claw their way back into the game.
Whalley almost made a two for Hyde on 75 minutes but was thwarted by a finger-tip save from Robert Ambrisics and it was again the Stafford keeper who made a great save from Dean Stott in the dying seconds as Hyde held on comfortably to register their second win in seven days.