Friday 30th March 2001
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Hyde United: Graham Bennett, Colin Hall (Carl Laurie), Paul Robertson, Mark Beeston, Ian Hutchinson, Peter Band, Matty Taylor, Neil Hall, Simon Yeo (Gavin Salmon), John Grant, Neil Critchley. Subs not used: Lloyd Richardson.
Emley: Cuss; Nicholson; Jones; Wilson (A); Hatto; David; Day; Thorpe; Bambrook; Wilson (M); Wood. Subs: Tonks; Nazah; Crossley
Some may say that this is all sour grapes. Well, it isn't!!! Hyde deserved better from this game, and to say that the match officials will have better days, would be an understatement.
This game was a cracker, with the two teams providing great entertainment throughout. It was Emley that started the brighter of the two and there was only 5 minutes on the clock when Graham Bennett was brought into actionsaving superbly down to his left after Simeon Bambrook had beaten the offside trap. Minutes later, it was again Bennett to the rescue when Emley captain, Steve Nicholson, looked certain to break the deadlock. From the resulting corner Paul David rattled the crossbar with a bullet header.
After the early onslaught, Hyde started to get into the game. On the quarter hour mark, superb dribbling, by Robertson, was followed by a teasing cross that Yeo just couldn't connect with. Peter Band came close two minutes later, heading wide after great passing between Colin Hall and John Grant. The Tigers were starting to dominate and a last ditch tackle by Miles Thorpe in the six yard box stopped Colin Hall giving Hyde the lead.
The deadlock was broken in the last minute of the half when Robertson set off on a jinking run, passed to John Grant, who turned on a sixpence and planted the ball past Paul Cuss into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
Emley were the better side in the second half, whether the effects of playing 4 games in 7 days, or the perplexing decisions by the officials, that took their toll on Hyde , we will never know, perhaps it was a combination of the two. Bambrook looked dangerous throughout and signalled his intentions with a rasping drive that had Bennett scrambling across his goal. Darren Day had two great chances, one sailed just over the bar and Bennett saved the second.
In the 84th minute, Emley hit the woodwork for the second time. Bambrook broke clear and drove the ball against the post with the keeper well beaten. Just as we began to think the we may have some luck or a change, disaster struck! In the space of a minute Neil Critchley missed a golden opportunity to make the points safe, scuffing his shot from 12 yards and Simeon Bambrook seizing on Hyde's inability to clear the ball and hammering the ball past Bennett. Worse was to come in the final minute, when Bambrook got his second, and Emley's winner. He picked up the ball midway inside Hyde's half, carried it 15 yards and unleashed a stunning drive that was past Bennett
before he moved. It was a goal worthy to win any game