Friday 19th December 2003
Northern Premier League Chairman's Cup 1st Round
Hyde United: Tim Mullock, John Gaynor, Ian Pendlebury (Steven Clegg), Paul Jones, Craig Buckley (Phil Salt), John O'Kane, Nicky Hill, Andy Waine, Neil Tolson, Kieran Delaney, Matty McNeil (Tony Ellis)
Kendal Town: Ward, Burrow, Garner, Whittal Williams, Close, Dixon, Cliff,Hayton, Southward, Bennett, Sheppard. Subs: Prosser, Foster, Clitheroe
This game was doubt right up to kick-off as the fog descended on Ewen Fields. It relented a little, but not before the Tigers had changed into canary yellow shirts to help the officials.
Tim Mullock had returned from Portugal, whilst Craig Buckley came through half a game after injury. Andy Waine made his full debut in midfield, although Jamie Milligan was ruled out. Steven Clegg, Anthony Wright and Phil Salt were rested.
Hyde were soon in their stride and could well have been ahead before Neil Tolson anticipated a defensive error to put the Tigers in front on 25 minutes. When John Gaynor put the Tigers two up just after half-time after battling through the defence, it should have been all over. Hyde had already hit the woodwork twice and forced three brilliant saves out of Lee Ward in the Kendal goal.
However an inspired substitution by acting manager, Tony Hesketh, changed the course of the game. He replaced James Sheppard, already booked, was heading for another early bath if he hadn't, with Gary Prosser. Within two minutes Christopher Bennett had pulled one back and just a minute later Paul Southward equalised. Both were down to woeful defending. Kendal then had a purple patch and the Tigers were rocking.
However normal service was resumed on 80 minutes when substitute Tony Ellis converted well, despite being fouled as he broke through. There was still time for Tim Mullock to produce a brilliant save from a curling free kick, before the Tigers burst downfield for Tolson to slot home his second. All's well that end's well, but Steve Waywell will be concerned about the second half performance which let an enthusiastic Kendal back into the game.