Monday 28th October 2002
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Hyde United: Peter Crookes, Mike Lomax, Rob Woodhead, Dominic Crookes, David Linighan (Scott Westwood), Dave Swanick, Mike Meszaros (Tom Brookes), Leon Smith (Stuart Harkness), Steve Foster, Anthony Hargreaves, Larry Farren
Runcorn FC Halton: Mc Millan, Carragher, Ness, Ellis, Tomlinson, Baines, Price, Morley, McNeil, Lunt, Leadbetter. Subs: Gamble, Parle, Kinney.
The Tigers slumped to their tenth successive league defeat with a disappointing performance against Runcorn and now have a mountain to climb if they are to get clear of the relegation slots.
Runcorn took the lead on 26 minutes when a clumsy tackle by Steve Foster on the extreme edge of the area gave them a penalty. Peter Crookes saved Gary Lunt's spot kick, but Lunt put in the rebound. Runcorn could have increased their lead as two were cleared off the line, whilst another clipped the post. Foster had a couple of half chances at the other end, but it was Runcorn who went in on top at half time.
The Tigers had a good spell after the interval but couldn't find the killing pass and when substitute Lee Parle added a second against the run of play, it was all over. Runcorn looked sharp throughout with Matty Mc Neil and Kevin Leadbetter causing the Tiger's defence all sorts of problems. Mike Lomax and Dominic Crookes (after Dave Linighan had gone off injured at half time) coped well overall with the lightning quick Leadbetter, who can't fail to have impressed the many scouts in the crowd, but it was midfield where Hyde struggled. Up front Anthony Hargreaves and Foster didn't get the service they needed to capitalise on a sluggish defence.
At the end of the day the Tigers were well beaten to leave Gordon Hill plenty to ponder in advance of Saturday's trip to Gateshead.