Monday 27th November 2000
Northern Premier League Challenge Cup Group Stage
Ashton United: Andy Johnston, Gareth Morris, Chris Adams, Dean Johnson, James Riordan, Paul France, Jeremy Illingworth, Chris Cornelly, Jamie Miller, Darren Royle, Peter Carty. Subs: Gareth Hamlet, Danny Toronczak, Paul Clowes.
Hyde United: Graham Bennett, John Foster, Paul Robertson, Mark Beeston, Gus Wilson, Peter Band, Matty Taylor, Neil Hall (Lee Wilkinson), Simon Yeo, David Hanson, Carl Laurie (Steve Tobin). Subs not used: Steve Smith.
Another win should see Hyde safely through to the next stage after a battling performance at Surrey Street. Initially it was Hyde who had the better chances, Simon Yeo got clear down the left but blasted his shot well over, David Hanson pounced on a poor clearance by Ashton goalkeeper Andy Johnston but Johnston made amends with a good save to deny the striker. It was around the 10 minute mark that the home side took control of the game and it took some nifty work with the head for Graham Bennett to stop a wild Paul Robertson backpass. On 15 minutes Ashton should have gone ahead, a free kick was pumped into the area and was met at the far post by Dean Johnson whose side foot volley flashed across the face of the goal and wide. On 20 minutes Chris Cornelly raced away down the left and hit a shot goalwards only to be foiled by an excellent save from Bennett. Hyde now started to get on top and some good work on the right from Foster and Yeo lead to Peter Band firing over the top when he should have hit the target. On 25 minutes Band again had a good chance, pouncing on a loose ball inside the penalty area his powerful shot was beaten away by Johnston. Hyde went ahaed on 30 minutes, some good battling by Matty Taylor led to a right wind cross which hit an Ashton defender and diverted the ball straight to Simon Yeo who couldn't miss from six yards. It took Ashton only nine minutes to get level, Jeremy Illingworth firing past Bennett from close range. Hyde started the second half quite well with two Simon Yeo efforts going over the top followed soon after by a Robertson shot which also cleared the crossbar. It was the home side who went ahead on 53 minutes however, the ball was worked down the left for Chris Cornelly who cut inside and drove a shot across Bennett and into the far corner. Hyde got equal on 64 minutes, a Robertson corner was headed home by Dave Hanson who stood unmarked at the near post. On 68 minutes the Tigers were in the lead, Tobin set Wilkinson away down the left and a low cross was turned in by Simon Yeo for the best goal of the night. Graham Bennett had a moment of madness for Hyde as he rushed from his goal and missed the ball allowing Cornelly a free shot at goal but Mark Beeston raced back to block his shot. On 75 minutes Hyde got their fourth of the evening, Hanson crossed from the left, Steve Tobin took the ball round Johnston and Lee Wilkinson poached the goal from two yards out making sure the covering defender didn't stop the ball. Three minutes later a piece of shambolic defending let Ashton back into the game, A cross from the left should have been bread and butter for Mark Beeston but the ball went straight between his legs, when he finally realised where it was Chris Cornelly had closed him down and couldn't miss an empty net to set up a frantic last ten minutes. Hyde would have wrapped it up but for a teriffic save from Johnston, Yeo crossed from the right, Hanson headed towards the corner but Johnston threw out his arm to deny the striker. Ashton substitute Danny Toronczak almost scored with his first touch in the final minute, the ball was crossed from the left and the striker connected only to be stopped by Bennett and Robertson right on the goal line. Ashton had many injury time corners but it was Hyde who left with the three points and should now qualify from the group.