Saturday 28th September 2002
F.A. Cup 2nd Qualifying Round
Hyde United: Peter Crookes, Paul McGuire (Mike Lomax), David Nolan, Dominic Crookes, Paul Ashwell, Dave Swanick (Leon Smith), Richard Eyre, Lee Evans, Steve Foster, Ged Smith, Tom Brookes (Steve Nolan). Subs not used: Steve Lyons, Anthony Hargreaves.
Tow Law Town: Sams, Maughan, Bellamy, Young, Liddle, Nicholson, L.Innes, G.Innes, McKenna, Moat, Eccles. Subs: Richardson, McNany, Sinclair, Jones, Fuller
Steve Foster hit a stunning first half hat-trick to settle this tie after only 37 minutes. Lee Evans added a fourth just on half time and the Tigers went in 4 - 0 up to leave the North Easterners shell shocked and leave their vocal supporters blaming the officials. Not quite sure why, as they were lucky to have eleven on the field after crude and late challenges on Foster and Dave Nolan had left both players hobbling.
Nolan kept the same team as Monday with himself at left back. Julian Dowe had reported unfit, Sammy Harris was cup-tied and new signing Jay Anthony was signed after the deadline. Anthony Hargreaves was on the bench but was still suffering from his broken hand.
The players reported at 10am and had a full training session and then a light lunch in preparation for this important game. No more comments on fitness please, these lads are fit. You are welcome at training if you think not.
The preparation seemed to do the trick as Foster lobbed Hyde ahead on 7 minutes. Seconds later he could have had two, but probably missed the easiest chance of the four he got. On 36 minutes a screamer and a minute later a tap-in after great work from Paul Ashwell. A superb hat-trick. He had played well in midfield in previous games, but the fans wanted him up-front; the Management team listened and four goals in two games. Congratulations all round!
The second half was only three minutes old when Ashwell scored with a glancing header. Cue - goalie change for Tow law. More crude challenges and although referee Mark Thornley had a good game, he was perhaps a bit lenient as the tempo increased. Scott Nicholson pulled a goal back on 54 minutes after Peter Crookes had spilled, but Richard Eyre made it six with a great chip after good work by Tom Brookes and Ged Smith. Lee Innes pulled another back with a soft goal and then substitute Mike Lomax conceded a needless penalty and it was 6-3. A few hairy moments for the Tigers followed. Dave Swanick, who had an excellent game, was lucky to see only yellow after a reckless challenge and then a header was cleared off the line. Normal service was soon resumed and Evans scored a good solo goal in the dying seconds to put Hyde in seventh heaven.
The sting had been taken out of Tow Law but they were still fired up by their supporters and another poor challenge on Evans, right on time, saw him leave the field on a stretcher.