Saturday 5th May 2001
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Blyth Spartans: Paul Gilmore, Gary Innes, Andy Martin, Ian Dixon, Richard Forster, Justin Keegan, Neil Radigan, Carl Pepper, Glen Robson, Craig Perry, Stevie Stewart. Subs: Mark Dunkersley, Gareth Williams, Andy Hay.
Hyde United: Richard Acton, John Foster, Paul Robertson, Steve Rimmer, Paul Taylor, Peter Band, Matty Taylor (Lloyd Richardson), Neil Hall, Neil Critchley, John Grant (Graham Bennett), Gavin Salmon. Subs not used: Colin Hall.
Well, it took 85 minutes against ten men and, in the end two goalkeepers on the pitch but Hyde finally kept only their third clean sheet of the season on the final day at Blyth. In what was a meaningless game for both teams there was drama inside the first five minutes when Blyth's Ian Dixon was sent off for wildly kicking Peter Band who was a little fortunate to only receive a yellow himself as he got up to fight back. If I'm honest, nothing really happened in the first forty-five minutes except for the odd moment of hope for both sides. Gavin Salmon got through after a Steve Rimmer throughball but his touch let him down as he raced towards goal. Blyth's Glen Robson went close with a shot that never really troubled Richard Acton and just before the break a right wing cross was met by Gary Innes steaming into the area but the finish was again poor. After the break Robson went close again when he turned Paul Taylor on the edge of the area but shot straight at Richard Acton. On 55 minutes Robson had the chance of the game when he rose to head a left wing cross into the corner but Acton thrust out an arm at the last moment to make a spectacular save. As the game went on Hyde got more involved with some good passing but only looked threatening with the introduction of Lloyd Richardson and, because of injuries, Graham Bennett as a makeshift centre forward. With three minutes left Paul Robertson cut inside from the right and shot straight at Blyth goalkeeper Paul Gilmore and in injury time it looked as though our season would be summed up when livewire Robson again got in but somehow managed to shoot over. So, thats it. Its finally over. 16th place, 79 goals against and only 3 clean sheets in the league (Even Spennymoor kept more than that!). Not quite what we expected after last year. Add to that the disappointment of Stalybridge winning the league, although if I'm honest they were the best team we have played this year - even if I don't like saying so, and it adds up to a pretty poor season. Never mind - its over & next year surely can't be as bad!!!!