Friday 26th December 2014
Hyde FC: Connor Hunt, Josh Brizell, Adam Blakeman, Matthew Flynn, Alex McQuade, Kelvin Lomax (Rhys Day), Louis Almond, Luke Giverin, Tom Bentham, Ted Cribley (Ryan Masterson), Connor Hughes. Subs not used: D'Arcy O'Connor, Erike Sousa, George Riley.
Stalybridge Celtic: King, Regan, Bleau, Galinski, Kerr, Holsgrove (Crowley), Hughes, Jordan (McKenna), Calvert-Lewin, Cadman, Ennis (Wigley). Subs Not Used: Chippendale, Martin.
A scrappy start to the game saw neither side really threaten in the first few minutes and it was Stalybridge who had the first real chance of the game through Stefan Galinski, whose turning volley flew miles wide. Hyde then started to press and went close twice through Bentham, firstly after great play from Connor Hughes who twisted and turned down the right wing before pinging in a ball to the big man to scuff wide, before again Bentham scuffed his shot when Josh Brizell drilled a cross in.
Stalybridge nearly took the lead through ex Hyde man Scott Kerr, who met a corner on the volley but hit it over. Galinski was booked for Celtic after hacking down Louis Almond just inside his own half, before the visitors went in front on the 42nd minute. A wonderful mazy run from Dominic Calvert-Lewin resulting in a fierce shot that stung the palms of Connor Hunt, with his save falling straight to Kevin Holsgrove who bundled it in to give the away team the lead.
The second half started with the Tigers seemingly having a kick up the backside at half time, as they were out of the blocks straight away, attacking Lewis Kingís net with a signal of intent. Almond went close with one of his trademark runs, before hitting his shot narrowly wide, and it was only a few minutes later that the Tigers got an equaliser through Tom Bentham. After a perfect ball into the box by Adam Blakeman, Bentham chested the ball down and curled it into the far corner with a tremendous finish, but it was little cheer for the Hyde fans just six minutes later with two minutes of madness.
Stalybridge won a free kick on the half way line, which Galinski thumped forward ambitiously catching Connor Hunt out just off his line, thumping back off the post and leaving Calvert-Lewin to tap in from close range. Connor Hunt must have thought the ball was going needlessly over or wide as he left the ball to strike the post, or the ball may have been caught in the wind, but either way it ended in a goal. The Tigers then needed to regroup and crack on with it but made the worst restart they possibly could have with Stalybridge getting their second in as many minutes through the magnificent Calvert-Lewin, skipping past three or four Hyde players like they werenít even their before tucking the ball past Hunt. Hunt probably could have done better again with the ball seeming to easily go through his palms and the goal ultimately killed the Tigers, with heads dropping all over the pitch.
The visitors heaped even more misery on Hyde in the pouring rain with their fourth after Paul Ennis latched on to a ball into the box, slamming past Hunt leaving the Hyde keeper stranded. Hyde had 20 minutes left to try and salvage a result but werenít pushing forward anywhere near enough, looking wasteful in possession with each pass. Stalybridge were soon reduced to 10 men after Matthew Hughes stamped on his namesake Connor, after Connor tried closing him down and the ball trickled out, with Matthew thinking Connor left his foot in before lifting his foot up and stamping it on the wingerís chest.
Hyde did get a consolation goal from Connor Hughes after another corner was swung in and pinballed around the Stalybridge box, before Hughes swept in. Substitute Rhys Day could have made the game interesting as Josh Brizellís fierce shot hit him and went just over, before Giverin nearly got a third deep into injury time but King tipped over brilliantly.