Tuesday 4th February 2014
Cheshire Senior Cup 2nd Round
Runcorn Linnets: Not available
Hyde FC: Ashley Frith, Adam Thurston, Adam Blakeman (Andrew Fitzgerald), Will Haining, Darren Thornton, Liam Tomsett, David Poole (Damase Kiwanda), Alex Brown, Jake Pollard (James Kirby), Danny Carlton, Connor Hughes. Subs not used: George Riley, Josh Brizell.
By George Corrin
In a tense and ill tempered affair at the Millbank Linnets Stadium, it was the Skrill Premier side that came out on top despite Runcorn causing several problems throughout.
The Tigers struggled to break down a stubborn Linnets defence as the North West Counties Premier Division leaders proved to be no pushovers in a wet and windy first round tie.
Manager Scott McNiven will be happy to finally get this game out of the way after the original fixture had previously been postponed three times due to weather problems.
The game itself started slowly for both sides, with the blustery wind causing major problems throughout the first 45 minutes.
Ashley Frith came to Hyde’s rescue after 10 minutes, as he saved Warren Bellew’s one on one effort.
Despite some neat passing play, Hyde failed to make much of an impact and it took 25 minutes for the visitors to register their first key chance. After some great work by Connor Hughes on the right wing, the youngster drilled a low cross into the path of Danny Carlton, however the ex-Morecambe man could only see his effort sail over the crossbar.
Carlton’s effort was the last major talking point before the referee blew for the half time interval.
The second half began much brighter than the first, with both teams beginning to adjust to the wild weather conditions.
After the majority of the possession, the visitors were soon rewarded for their efforts on 51 minutes, as Hyde scored what proved to be the eventual match winner. Once again, Hughes found space out wide and the former Oldham Athletic man delivered a pin point cross to David Poole, the midfielder decisively headed home into the top right hand corner to give the Tigers the lead.
The goal seemed to spring the game into life and Joey Dunn’s side responded almost immediately, as captain Matt Cross tested Frith with a stinging long range effort.
Moments later, the young keeper pulled off another fine stop, as a long ball forward from opposing keeper Andy Robertson found its way to ex-Hyde striker Gavin Salmon. Frith rushed out and produced a good save to deny Salmon and to keep Scott McNiven’s side in front.
Tempers soon began to flare as after a late challenge on Alex Brown. A heated confrontation broke out with both teams trading verbal assaults at one another.
Hyde almost doubled their lead just after the hour mark, as both Martin Crowder and Robertson became involved in a mix-up which left David Poole with an open goal. Unfortunately for the Tigers, Poole’s effort was somehow cleared off the line from a retreating Michael Burke.
Robertson made up for his earlier error with a great save from a Darren Thornton shot. The Runcorn keeper was once again taking all the plaudits shortly after, as he pulled off another excellent save this time to deny Pollard.
Salmon came close for the hosts once again on 75 minutes, with the forward’s low effort whistling just wide of the Hyde goal.
The final 10 minutes produced some exhilarating action as Hyde desperately tried to hold on to their lead.
As the game went into added time there was still time for one more chance for Runcorn. The hosts played the ball through to Salmon who was free on the edge of the Hyde penalty area. The talented striker's turn and shot narrowly flew over Frith’s crossbar and all but confirmed Hyde’s passage into the next round.