Sunday 4th January 2015
Hyde FC: Ashley Timms, Josh Brizell, Kyle Brownhill, D'Arcy O'Connor, Alex McQuade, George Riley, Louis Almond, Luke Giverin, Tom Bentham (Erike Sousa), Adam Thurston (Ryan Masterson), Connor Hughes. Subs not used: Andreas Pachipis, Max Lonsdale, Jack Pritchard.
Barrow: A. McMillan, D. Livesey, S. Grand, N. Cowperthwaite, N. Wilmer-Anderton, A. Harvey (J. Gorman, S. Sheridan, K. Ledsham, P. Lacey, J. Walker (J. Ellison), A. Cook. SUBS NOT USED: A. Burns, A. McWilliams, L. Pritchard.
After the humiliating defeat away at rivals Stalybridge Celtic on New Year’s day, the Hyde hierarchy decided that a change of manager was needed.
Hyde 4-4 Barrow
In came former favourite Gary Lowe to try and save the Tiger’s from relegation.
His first task was against high fliers Barrow who sit second in the Vanarama Conference North, Lowe’s task was not made easier, with several first team members unable to play due to injury, illness, suspensions and ineligibility, Lowe also made the decision to re-appoint Josh Brizell as club captain.
Connor Hunt was not fit enough to play, so in came Ashely Timms for his Tiger debut, Kyle Brownhill was recalled from his loan spell at AFC Telford United and replaced the suspended Adam Blakeman at left back. George Riley replaced Andreas Pachipis in the centre of midfield and Adam Thurston replaced Ted Cribley who could not play as he is on loan from Barrow.
This also meant a change in formation, changing from 4-4-2 to a 4-1-4-1 with Riley sitting in front of the back four, Thurston and Giverin in the centre with Hughes and Almond on the wings, supplying crosses for big Tom Bentham in attack.
Hyde started the game on the front foot and pressured Barrow into a couple of early mistakes, the first as soon as the second minute. Tom Bentham chased down a back pass to Tony McMillan in the Barrow goal, his clearance ricochet off the back of Bentham and fell straight to Luke Giverin 30 yards from goal. He tried to waltz his way past Sam Sheridan, but the midfielder brought him down 25 yards from goal. Up stepped captain Brizell, but his free kick went straight into the wall and he attempted another shot at goal on the rebound but it went harmlessly wide.
Barrow could not cope with the early Hyde pressure and as Connor Hughes skipped past a couple of Barrow challenges, he would have been one on one with the remaining defender but was brought down thirty yards from goal by Paddy Livesey. After Josh’s poor attempt at the first free kick, Giverin decided to have a go himself; unfortunately, he did the exact same as Brizell and hit it straight into the wall.
Barrow survived the early pressure and Sheridan spotted the run of Alex-Ray Harvey, who then won a corner off Alex McQuade. From the resulting corner, Hyde failed to clear the ball to safety, instead it landed on the boot of Karl Ledsham whose vicious volley was blocked and properly cleared.
Then five minutes later Hyde’s chasing down proved too much for Niall Cowperthwaite. He received the ball on the edge of the centre circle inside the Barrow half, and as he attempted to play the ball back to McMillan he slipped, which meant that his pass therefore had no pace, Louis Almond raced through to capitalise on his mistake and slotted the ball under McMillian
Hyde then went two nil up in the nineteenth minute. Connor Hughes who was out on the left cut inside onto his favoured right foot and tried his luck, forcing a Barrow defender to block for a corner. From that corner, Luke Giverin picked out the onrushing Alex McQuade, he bundled the ball towards goal and somehow it was cleared off the line, but Darcy O’Connor was there to apply the finish and make it two nil to the Tigers.
From the restart and Hyde won the ball back and looked to keep hold of possession, until a sloppy pass from Almond almost ended up in a Barrow goal. Andy Cook picked up the loose ball and wiggled his way through two defenders, but his poor touch allowed Ashley Timms who was quick off his line to pounce on the loose ball, which Cook also slid in for, leaving his mark on the Hyde shot stopper earning himself a yellow card in the process.
Barrow where then forced into a change after twenty-eight minutes as Alex-Ray Harvey pulled his hamstring when attempting to run onto a long ball. Hyde still two goals up needed that all important third before halftime and after a tame effort from Almond, Giverin looked to play in Hughes out on the left but his pass was cleared, and moment later Barrow punished Hyde for their poor efforts.
Barrow forced Hyde deep into their own half, and the Tigers where camped on their own eighteen yard box, Barrow eventually found some space as substitute Johnny Gorman rolled the ball into the path of Karl Ledsham, who from the edge of the area rifled the ball into the top corner.
Hyde tried to give themselves that two-goal lead back straight from the kick off, the ball was played back to Brizell, he entered the Barrow half and crossed the ball into the box. It looked like Tom Bentham was about to nod the ball into the back of the net, but Danny Livesey got his head to the ball first and conceded a corner instead.
Barrow went immediately up the other end of the field, and Sheridan picked out Cook on the edge of the box, he turned McQuade and got his shot away, fortunately it went straight out for a goal kick. Barrow continued to look for the equaliser before halftime and got it on the stroke of halftime.
A fantastic through ball caught out McQuade that allowed Ledsham to turn him; he raced through one on one with Timms and calmly slotted the ball into the net.
Hyde restarted the second half and Bentham won a free kick out on the right wing. Luke Giverin floated in an inch perfect ball to which Bentham flicked on, and from three yards out O’Connor somehow managed to flick the ball onto the bar and the danger was cleared.
Connor Hughes who was a menace down the left flank all game continuously beat him man Cowperthwaite. He raced to the by line and cut inside the area, and thought he had set up Giverin for a simple tap in, but his cut back was intercepted before Giverin could smash home.
Hyde continued to look for the third goal and after a neat one two between George Riley and Connor Hughes, Hughes played in Kyle Brownhill who if had confidence in his right foot maybe could have got a shot at goal, but was eventually crowded out and Barrow cleared.
From that clearance, Barrow moved the ball across the field, out to the left wing and their left back Wilmer-Anderton picked out Andy Cook who leaped above his man, and powered his header into the far corner.
Hyde looked to get themselves back into the game, and Adam Thurston’s fantastic defence splitting pass set up Louis Almond who looked across goal for Tom Bentham, but the big man was not on his toes and the ball went straight across the face of goal.
Barrow who were ahead for the first time in the game then doubled their lead on the hour mark when a long ball over the top evaded O’Connor, which allowed Jason Walker to race through and from the left side of the area found the far corner of the net.
Walker tried his luck from distance a few minutes later but his effort went straight at Timms, and Timms was again tested in the sixty-eighth minute as Cook was played through one on one, but Timms was quick off his line and blocked Cook’s shot with his legs.
With twenty minutes of the game still to play, the Tigers found themselves two goals down, and instead of just giving up like on new years day they fought back and almost got themselves right back in the game in the seventieth minute.
Giverin cut inside onto his left foot and danced past a couple of challenges on the edge of the area before playing the ball to Thurston, he rolled it out wide to Hughes. He beat his man once again and picked out the unmarked Giverin inside the area, but the ball came at him too fast and hit his standing foot, to which McMillan picked up the loose ball.
Hughes once again looked to make something happen and after he picked out Bentham just inside the area, he played the ball into the path of Almond, and as he went to strike the ball, he slipped at the vital moment, and scuffed his shot.
Then with just under fifth teen minutes of play remaining, Connor Hughes was fouled 30 yards from goal. After two poor attempts in the first half from Brizell and Giverin, Captain Brizell thought he would try again, and this time found the top corner with his Ronaldo-esc type free kick.
Hyde then made a change as Ryan Masterson entered the field of play for Adam Thurston, Hyde now with two up top could sense the equaliser was on the horizon and three minutes after coming on, Masterson netted his first ever senior goal.
Louis Almond pressured the Barrow defence into a back pass, and Masterson pounced on the loose ball and fired past McMillan to make the game level at 4-4.
The Tigers could tell that they had Barrow on the ropes and continued to look for the winner with Hughes and Almond both having shots saved by McMillan, but in the ninety-second minute of the game Hyde nearly got the winner in the cruelest of ways.
Luke Giverin from the edge of the area looked for the far corner, but Captain Simon Grand flung himself in the way of the ball, and the deflection took the ball just wide of the top corner. The ball was eventually pumped into the box and Almond tried his best to direct it goal wards, but it ended up going wide.
A fantastic game for the neutrals, and a fantastic way for the Gary Lowe regime to begin.