Saturday 10th April 2004
Northern Premier League First Division
Chorley: Bennett, Clitheroe, Pryers, Hogam, McCartney, Bates, Mills, Vermiglio, Ashcroft, Queely, Eatock. Subs: Mason, Edgington, Butterworth
Hyde United: Tim Mullock, Kieran Delaney, John Gaynor (Tony Ellis), Paul Jones, Craig Buckley, Neil Tolson, Nicky Hill, Phil Salt (Mike Meszaros), Dale Johnson, Wayne Dean, Matty McNeil. Subs not used: Carl Barrowclough.
This was always going to be a difficult game for the Tigers. The fact that Chorley had changed their manager midweek added to the difficulty and when the Tigers rolled up with only nine fit men, the afternoon could get no worse. But it did and Hyde lost to a solitary goal midway through the second half. It was only Hyde's second league defeat in the last thirteen outings, but it couldn't have come at a worst time with Matlock ( now top on goal difference) and Farsley recording easy victories. How we needed a win at Victory Park!
John O'Kane patched up last Wednesday was unfit, whilst Steven Clegg had food poisoning. Hyde welcomed back Neil Tolson and Kieran Delaney, but neither were fully fit. John Gaynor limped off at half-time to be replaced by only a partially fit Tony Ellis. Matty McNeil started at centre forward, finished at centre half, but was absolutely superb, as was Wayne Dean. You could not fault the effort, but this was a game too far. Too many players were missing and those who did play were generally out of position, and/or injured.
This was a game of few chances. Chorley battled for their lives and were rewarded on 63 minutes when a Lee Ashcroft free-kick got a deflection into the net. The Tigers fought as best they could. There were some close shaves on Graham Bennett's goal, but it was one of those days and best soonest forgotton.
Who will be fit for Monday is anybody's guess, but the skills of the physio and management team will be tested to the full this weekend. Only a victory will do on Monday night, but who will be able to take part is anybody's guess.