Sunday 1st January 2012
Stalybridge Celtic: Jan Budtz, Joel Bembo-Leta, Andy McWilliams, Kristian Platt, Chris Lynch, Jack Rea, Stephen Brogan (Mitchell Austin), Greg Wilkinson, Phil Marsh (Nick Rogan), Lloyd Ellams (Craig Hobson), Connor Jennings. Unused Subs: Dennis Sheriff, Arthur Gnahoua
Hyde FC: David Carnell, Josh Brizell, Adam Griffin, Danny Hall, Gianluca Havern, Tunji Moses, Andrew Pearson, Callum Byrne (Sean Williams), James Ellison (David Poole), Scott Spencer, Reece Gray (Danny Broadbent). Subs not used: Harry Winter, Matthew Berkeley.
It was a great start to 2012 for the Tigers as they secured a magnificent victory over their local rivals Stalybridge Celtic at Bower Fold.
Both sides were looking for maximum points for different reasons and the game started off at a frenetic pace.It was Hyde who dominated the opening 20 minutes and pressing Stalybridge back, and Scott Spencer had the first chance of the game as the ball fizzed inches wide.
The lively Reece Gray then tricked his way past Jack Rea but opted to go for goal rather than square to 2 unmarked players in the box.
After the home side woke up and forced a few corners, Conner Jennings shot well wide, and on the stroke of half-time Phil Marsh’s free-kick stung the palms of David Carnell.
Stalybridge came out of the blocks strongly in the first 10 minutes of the second half and peppered the Hyde area with dangerous balls into the box, but these were being defended excellently by Danny Hall and Gianluca Havern.
Hyde got the breakthrough when a silly free-kick was given away by Chris Lynch and Adam Griffin laid the ball off for Reece Gray to fire home from 25 yards via a slight deflection.
The Tigers dominated after this with Tunji Moses and Andy Pearson in particular having excellent games as they broke everything up in midfield to frustrate the home side.
It was from a stray pass that led to Hyde’s second goal as Scott Spencer picked up the ball on the halfway line, got clear of the defence and fired brilliantly across Jan Budtz to send the large vocal following ecstatic.
Hyde were happy to soak up anything Stalybridge could muster and hit them on the break. They added a third when Josh Brizell tried his luck from the edge of the area and the ball was helped into his own goal by the hapless Lynch.
The only blot on the Hyde copybook was not keeping a clean sheet as Jennings tumbled theatrically in the area and the linesman gave a penalty which Jennings expertly tucked away.
This result means the Tigers go 11 points clear at the top of the table and puts them in an excellent position.
After the win, Gary Lowe told Luke Edwards:
“It’s a great result. I was really pleased with the attitude of the players more than anything – they are a very strong group.
“I thought we were outstanding during the game and if we hadn’t have won it would’ve been an injustice.
“It was a really difficult job to tell Sean and Broady that they were dropped after having done so well on Boxing Day, but James Ellison did well for us on his first start and he is a player with a bright future.
“The support we had was fantastic. It was very humbling for me to see the feeling that the people of Hyde have for their football team, and I’d like to thank them for their messages on Twitter and the text messages I’ve received.”