Tuesday 5th November 2002
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Vauxhall Motors: Ralph, Lawton, McDermott, Brazier, Haddrell, Ward, Aspinall, Lynch, Fearns, Young, Cumiskey. Subs: Nesbitt, Robinson, Welton.
Hyde United: Peter Crookes, Mike Lomax, Rob Woodhead, Dominic Crookes, David Linighan, Dave Swanick, Leon Smith, Jay Anthony, Steve Foster (Anthony Hargreaves), Steven Ferguson (Mike Meszaros), Larry Farren. Subs not used: Scott Westwood.
At Rivacre Park on Tuesday, it was Hyde who produced all the fireworks but just couldn't find the killer touch in front of goal. By the end, it was October team of the month Vauxhall, who had lost the plot, and were desperately hanging on for the points.
Hyde's defence superbly marshalled by David Linighan made one error in the first half and were severely punished as leading scorer Terry Fearns got his head to a Peter Cumiskey cross three minutes before half time to give Vauxhall an undeserved lead. This was cruel on the Tigers who had played extremely well and unlucky not to be in front against potentially the best team in the league.
The second half followed a similar pattern and Hyde should have had a penalty when Linighan was floored in the box. It was not to be, as Hyde piled on more pressure but just couldn't make it count.
Steven Ferguson, on loan from Leeds United, made his debut and teamed up well in midfield with his team-mate from Leeds, Larry Farren. But on this showing, Hyde urgently need a striker to partner Steve Foster, as well as a left sided midfielder. The defence now looks solid, with Dominic Crookes playing well, whilst his name sake in goal has regained some confidence , probably by having Linighan in front of him. Although games are running out for the Tigers, Gordon Hill is confident that a couple of signings will do the trick. On this showing, the ship has certainly been steadied, it is now a matter of turning it around.