Wednesday 7th April 2004
Northern Premier League Chairman's Cup Final (1st Leg)
Hyde United: Tim Mullock, Steven Clegg, John Gaynor, Paul Jones, Craig Buckley, John O'Kane (Tony Ellis), Nicky Hill, Phil Salt (Mike Meszaros), Dale Johnson, Wayne Dean, Matty McNeil. Subs not used: Neil Tolson.
Leek Town: Hodgson, Brough, Sucharewycz, Wolliscroft, Johnson, Ridley, Danylyk, MacPherson, Hadland, Frost, Cartwright. Subs: Macari, Taaffe, Hassall
The Tigers gained a priceless one goal advantage for the 2nd Leg, but it could have been so different as Tim Mullock saved a penalty in the last ten minutes to preserve the Tiger's lead. Seconds later David Mac Pherson, who had missed the penalty, had another chance, but he contrived to miss and leave the second leg delicately poised.
It was a very entertaining game but Hyde failed to press home the advantage after Dale Johnson, again impressive, had given them the lead on 33 minutes. Earlier Phil Salt had hit the base of a post following a free-kick for handball. An earlier incident in the area had been missed by the disappointing officials. Salt was again involved on 40 minutes when he was a victim of a dreadful tackle from behind by Wayne Johnson. The referee saw fit to show yellow, when for most others it would have been red. Johnson escaped again later when the referee opted for just a chat when another card seemed likely.
The second half was full of open football with Johnson and Matty McNeil frequently linking up well and causing all sorts of problems for the overworked Leek defence. Mc Neil was impeded in the area, but the referee, poorly placed, waved away appeals.
Leek stepped up the pressure in the last quarter and Hadland hit the bar with a screamer. Then the referee having failed to see a push on Paul Jones awarded a harsh penalty against John Gaynor for handball. Justice was seen to be done as Mullock dived to his left to save. There was still time for Hadland to miss a sitter, but the Tigers held on.
Hyde were pleased to welcome back Craig Buckley and he had a storming game alongside John Gaynor and Salt in midfield. The patched up Tigers had done well and hopefully some of the injured stars will be available for the second leg.