Monday 18th November 2002
Northern Premier League Challenge Cup 2nd Round
Altrincham: Acton, Gallagher, Adams, Scott, Rose, McDonald, Murphy, Craney, Band, Lunt, Tunnicliffe. Subs: Killeen, McEvoy, Evans. Sent Off: Acton, Band
Hyde United: Steve Lyons, Scott Westwood, Paul McGuire (Steve Foster), Dominic Crookes, Paul Ashwell, Rick Whelan, Mike Meszaros, Troy Hayder, Lee Evans, Tom Brookes, Ryan Hevicon. Subs not used: Leon Smith, Peter Crookes.
Gordon Hill used this game to give his fringe players a chance and how well they took it. The starting line up contained only two players who started at Ashton. Steve Foster was the only viable substitute to ensure the players knew they had to last 90 minutes and through extra time if necessary.
All the action in the game occured in the first 11 minutes, whilst there was real drama in injury time as Richard Acton was sent off for handling outside the area as Foster chased a through ball. Technically correct, but harsh in the context of the game and then to compound Altrincham's woes, Peter Band was sent off after the final whistle for continuing the argument. Foster had taken the free kick quickly and scored. It should have stood that would have been a fairer punishment for Alty.
The Tigers (or was it cubs) started well and Troy Hayder put them in front after only 3 minutes in a melee following a corner. The joy was short lived as Stephen Lunt equalised seven minutes later. He looked miles offside , and that really set the tone for some really inept performances from the officials. Hyde stormed back within a minute, sixteen year old Michael Meszaros put them back in front. It was rather an even game after that. Altrincham perhaps thought it was too easy, whilst some of the Hyde players had something to prove.
Overall this was a superb performance from the Tigers and the players deserve full credit for their application and commitment on the night. Anthony Hargreaves ruled himself out of the game and Gordon Hill subsequently agreed to his release. Leon Smith, Mike Lomax and Rob Woodhead were also ruled out through injury or sickness. Perhaps three league points would have been better as the losers in this game still stay in a cup competition!