Saturday 17th February 2001
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Accrington Stanley: Jamie Speare, Steve Carragher, Steve Hollis, Robbie Williams, Jay Flannery, Brett Baxter, Simon Carden, Gary Williams, Mark Ceraolo, Paul Mullin, Russel Payne. Subs: Mark Brennan, Paul Burns, Steve McDonald.
Hyde United: Kurt Edgington, Steve Smith (Micky Beirne), Paul Robertson, Mark Beeston, Steve Rimmer, Peter Band, Matty Taylor, Phil Trainer, Simon Yeo, Jody Banim, Anthony Charles. Subs not used: Lloyd Richardson, Steve Tobin.
Hyde still haven't won a game at the Crown Ground, although this was by no means as comfortable for Accrington as it sounds. For me, this was one of the best away performances of the season despite the result as Hyde played good football throughout and only in the last five minutes were they out of the game. On 8 minutes Peter Band let fly with a scorching drive from 30 yards which was destined to sneak into the top corner until Accrington goalkeeper Jamie Speare leapt and palmed the ball away. Hyde's keeper Kurt Edgington made an equally impressive save 3 minutes later when a ball from the right was headed goal wards by Simon Carden, with the ball seemingly past him he thrust out an arm to prevent the midfielder from opening the scoring. Jody Banim had a good chance for Hyde on 20 minutes after some good work by Simon Yeo but he poked the ball wide under pressure from the Stanley defence. Anthony Charles played himself into trouble shortly after when he lost possession to Carden on the edge of the box but luckily for the loan signing the shot flew over the top. Carden again missed an opportunity for Accrington after Mullin and Payne combined to put him in but his shot once again flew over the top. On 37 minutes Simon Yeo got hold of the ball on the left and put in a cross for Peter Band who glanced the ball wide after making a late run into the penalty area. Stanley went ahead two minutes after the restart when Brett Baxter's corner was headed home by Jay Flannery via a huge deflection off Peter Band, the ball was going wide. Hyde settled things down and started to take the game to Accrington and were quiterightly rewarded on 64 minutes when a Paul Robertson through ball was cleared by Flannery but fell straight to Jody Banim who hit a first time shot over the head of Speare and underneath the crossbar to equalise. Moments later they could have been ahead when a corner was cleared to Phil Trainer who chipped the ball back in and Banim struck an acrobatic (...Jody!!!) scissors kick but his effort went straight at Speare. Acrrington's decisive goal came on 74 minutes and was hotly debated. A route one ball put Mark Ceraolo through on goal and he promptly hit the deck the moment a challenge came in, the referee waved play on as Ceraolo lay in the penalty area but Stanley won the ball back and Ceraolo who must have been offside leapt to his feet and powered the ball past Kurt Edgington. Credit to the referee who took a long look at his assistant but if he didn't flag the ref didn't really have any alternative but to give the goal. Nevertheless, Hyde should have come back again especially when Robertson's cross was headed over by Simon Yeo from six yards out. Stanley went on to score twice in the last six minutes, firstly on 84 Mark Brennan had plenty of time with the ball before shooting in off the post and he doubled his tally when he shot home from the edge of the box in injury time. 4-1 but the vast majority of Hyde fans would have felt that we deserved a point, if not more. If the luck isn't going for you what can you do?