Saturday 26th November 2005
F.A. Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round
Hyde United: Mark Westhead, James Barrow (Lincoln Adams), Danny Caldecott, Paul Jones (Gerry Harrison), Mike Flynn, Carlos Meakin (Nicky Clee), Chris Lynch, Phil Salt, Neil Tolson, Dale Johnson, Matty McNeil. Subs not used: Wayne Dean, Steve Brackenridge.
Stalybridge Celtic: Pettinger, Keeling, Bernard, Kilbane, Haran, price, Garvey, Sykes, Ellington, Banim, Prince. Subs: Eastwood, Smith, Black, Oates, Buxton.
Report by Tony Beard:
Hat trick hero Neil Prince swept Stalybridge into the next round of the FA Trophy with three goals in an eight-minute spell midway through the first half. Hyde had no answer to the former England Youth player and he led them a merry dance all afternoon.
For Hyde this was certainly a game to forget. Only Matty McNeil and Chris Lynch can take any pride from their performances. You would have expected passion and commitment from the Tigers in their biggest game of the season against their local rivals. But there was none. The midfield, Lynch apart, was non existent which resulted in the forwards getting no service and the defence constantly under pressure, but there can be no excuses as for once Hyde had basically a full squad, John O'Kane apart, to pick from.
All started so well for Hyde with the Tigers on top for the first fifteen minutes. Neil Tolson and Phil Salt both went close before Prince grabbed his first. His second was a great strike from outside the box, whilst his third was an exquisite lob and it was game over.
Hyde never looked liked staging a recovery despite replacing Carlos Meakin with Nicky Clee. Any flicker of hope was extinguished with six minutes after the restart as Lee Ellington shot home after good work from the irrepressible Prince. Ellington grabbed another eleven minutes later as it became more and more embarrassing for Hyde. Memories of the last competitive game when Hyde lost 6-0 at Bower Fold came flooding back, but Mark Westhead produced a number of good saves to keep the rampant Celtic forwards at bay, despite the loss of Jody Banim with a knee injury.
As Celtic eased off, Hyde began to exert some pressure in the final few minutes but Mark Pettinger, who had handled well throughout, made a series of good saves before Lynch won a 50/50 ball to snatch a consolation goal for the Tigers. Pettinger was injured in the process and sadly left the field on a stretcher with a potential serious ankle injury. Paul Sykes took over in goal, but it was too little too late for the Tigers.
Stalybridge march on to the next round, whilst Steve Waywell is left to pick up the pieces from an abject display which clearly upset the Hyde faithful. Waywell was at pains to apologise for his team's performance after the game, but realises he has plenty to do to keep the team in Conference North this season if this performance was anything to go off.