Tuesday 10th September 2013
Manchester Premier Cup 1st Round
Hyde FC: Ashley Frith, Adam Thurston, Josh Morrell, Andrew Fitzgerald, Rhys Day (George Riley), Tom Manship (Adam Lawrence), Jake Pollard, Adam Blakeman, David Poole, Danny Carlton (Derryn Ofori), Connor Hughes. Subs not used: Kristian Cox, Paul Reddy.
Radcliffe Borough: Andrew, Ingham (Sherriff), Lambert, Thompson, Mullineux, Thornton, Chadwick (Hibbs), Carden (Sherlock), Henson, Landregan, Robinson.
Report by Andy Marshall
The Tigers survived a dramatic late comeback from Radcliffe to win on penalties, in the Manchester Premier Cup first round from Ewen Fields.
Two goals from Connor Hughes and a David Poole strike had put Hyde three up inside half an hour, but a Darren Thornton freekick before the break and two late goals from Matt Landregan and Darren Thornton, took the game to spot kicks with the young Hyde side winning that particular lottery and go through to the quarter-final.
In a change to the norm for the Tigers, they were the proverbial “big fish in a small pond” this time around, being the highest ranked team in this competition by a couple of divisions. This gave Scott McNiven the opportunity to try out some of the more fringe players, although he did start with five first teamers, including the front pairing of Poole and Danny Carlton.
It was a great start for the home side, as they were ahead inside the first minute. Some very nervous looking defending from Boro, allowed young winger Jake Pollard to get his low cross in from the right, and the ball rolled to the unmarked Hughes, who tapped in his first.
Both sides settled quickly and began to play the ball around well. Tom Manship had a half chance, after being played in by Carlton and Pollard nearly got his toe on a Josh Morrell cross, but he just couldn’t grow enough to tap it in.
At the other end, the visitors were also having their chances, Landregan looked very lively and saw a couple of shots saved and Brad Robinson also could’ve levelled, but Ashley Frith was up to the job in the Hyde goal.
They say it is about taking your chances and the Tigers then went on to take two in clinical fashion. First, Hughes danced into the box after being played in by Manship on 23 minutes and clipped a shot onto the angle of post and bar, for two nil.
Then three minutes later, Carlton played Poole clean through and he curled a peach of a shot into the postage stamp for three. Hyde were really showing their quality in the final third and although the score line appeared to flatter the home side, it is all about the finishing and that proved to be the difference between the sides.
Hyde were now cruising and started to relax, perhaps too much, as 11 minutes later, Boro scored a very cheeky free kick. In a Thierry Henry-esque manner, Thornton chipped the ball into the net before Hyde were apparently ready, not too much of an appeal from the Tigers, but it is certainly an odd way to pull a goal back. The difference between the sides was still in the final third and for that reason Hyde deserved their lead at the break.
Into the 2nd half and it now was the visitors that looked the more likely to score. Robinson was seeing a lot of the ball down the left and had a couple of chances, but Rhys Day and Andy Fitzgerald looked assured at the back for Hyde.
As the half wore on, the youthful Tigers side seemed to slow down and the physical nature of the more senior opponents became clear.
The visitors pulled another back through Landregan on 75 minutes. Dennis Sherriff played a ball from the right to the striker in space inside the area, who finished into the top corner, which was very much game on.
Hyde looked like they would need a 4th to put this one to bed and captain Poole nearly managed it late in the game. He skipped into the box, evading several challenges, but fired his shot into the side netting.
Then in stoppage time, Radcliffe completed their remarkable comeback. A Robinson corner was headed in by Thornton for his second and took the game to penalties. A lack of experience and tired legs are probably to blame, as Hyde showed at times the difference in quality, but couldn’t keep it going for the full 90.
With the momentum swinging firmly back in the visitors favour, the pressure was really on Hyde to deliver, and deliver they did, as after 10 pens it was five each, with some brilliantly taken finishes in there too. Then, in sudden death, Kristian Cox kept his cool to make it six out of six for Hyde, before Ashley Frith saved Darren Lambert’s effort and win the tie for the Tigers and with it a first penalty shoot-out win since May 1996.
Not the way Hyde would have wanted to go through, especially as they were cruising with 30 minutes gone, but it’s a good learning curve for the younger players and more evidence that a lack of concentration, or tired legs, really can cost you in football. But they are through to the quarters and there are some great performances to take from this apart from the goals, Connor Hughes and Jake Pollard did well down the wings, and Andy Fitzgerald looked assured at the back.
(No extra time in this competition)