Wednesday 18th September 2002
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Gateshead: Campbell, Reed, Morgan, Bishop, Jones, Mohan, Harrison, McAlindon, Preen, Flannigan, Radigan. Subs: Goodchild, Colvin, Agnew
Hyde United: Peter Crookes, Paul Ashwell, Leon Smith (Paul McGuire), Dominic Crookes, Steve Nolan, Dave Swanick, Lee Madin (Ged Smith), Lee Evans, Steve Foster, Anthony Hargreaves (Tom Brookes), David Nolan
Another disastrous performance from the Tigers, to heap more pressure on David Nolan and his unchanged team. Saturday had proved to be a false dawn.
Gateshead had most of the first half. Lee Madin had a couple of gilt-edged chances for Hyde, but it was mainly the high ball tactics of Gateshead causing the problems for the Tigers. They could have taken the lead on 35 minutes when Peter Crookes, scrambling for the ball was harshly adjudged to have fouled Steve Preen, who then took the resultant penalty. Crookes dived to his right to make a great save. Five penalties conceded already this season.
Just when it looked like Hyde had weathered the storm, Lee Flannigan forced the ball home in first half injury time. A half time bollocking and we expected a rejuvenated Tigers' in the second half. It was not to be as within two minutes Preen had scored with a cross-shot past Crookes. Gateshead, who had five players booked on the night, continued with their long ball tactics and the Tigers struggled to cope.
The introduction of Paul McGuire and Tom Brookes strengthened an over-run midfield, whilst, in general, the three central defenders coped well. Slowly but surely Hyde had more of the ball and Steve Foster scored with a great left foot chip with four minutes to go, but it was too little too late for the beleaguered Tigers. They didn't really deserve anything from the game against, what must be said, a very mediocre Gateshead who had secured their first victory of the season.
It's certainly a long way back at 2am in the morning but it did allow the Management team to do plenty of soul searching to put matters right. Time is running out for both them and the team, if we don't want a season of relegation worries.