Saturday 24th August 2002
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Hyde United: Peter Crookes, Danny Webster, Rob Woodhead, Dominic Crookes, Paul Ashwell, Leon Smith, Ged Smith, Lee Evans (Tom Brookes), Steve Foster, Lee Madin, David Nolan. Subs not used: Steve Nolan, Mike Lomax.
Whitby Town: Naisbett, Reid, Rand, Laws, Wilford, Dixon, Gildea, Veart, Robinson, Swales, Skelton. Subs: Ure, Zoll, Williams.
This was a strange game. Although Whitby had plenty of possession, Hyde always looked likely winners. That was until referee Mick Bell awarded a harsh penalty against Dominic Crookes, when there seemed no danger, on 69 minutes. Craig Veart made no mistake from the spot and brought Whitby back into the game.
This set up a grandstand finish and with seven minutes left, Mr Bell awarded another penalty against the unfortunate Crookes after a Whitby player had slipped. Veart made no mistake again and Whitby were level and manager, Harry Dunn couldn't believe his luck. Mr. Bell later apologised for his decision. The Assistant had confirmed the ref had got it wrong. Why didn't he say so at the time?
The bizzare end to the game overshadowes what had gone before. Lee Evans put Hyde in front on 13 minutes with a neat header. Lee Madin, playing his first full game, increased the lead on 53 minutes with a sweet shot into the corner after Dave Nolan had put him through. Whitby substitute Lee Ure pulled one back on 61 minutes at the near post, which Peter Crookes probably should have saved.
Ure continued to cause Hyde all sorts of problems until Madin unleased a screamer from 30 yards into the top corner to give Hyde their two goal cushion again. A candidate for goal of the season already. The Tigers were in control until the first penalty but it went downhill from there. Lack of discipline crept in and four bookings for Hyde ensued. Whitby had three and Skelton was probably lucky to escape with just a caution after a crude challenge on Evans.
Three games played, four points ( should be six), eight goals for ( highest in league), eight goals against ( next highest in league). You could call it a mixed start. Everything to play for at Worksop.
Hyde will definitely be without Danny Webster who starts his seven week suspension on Monday. A further appeal has been made to the Cheshire FA as he could miss as many as 21 games including Sunday games. The punishment clearly doesn't fit the crime.