Saturday 26th February 2005
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Workington: Collin, Varty, Green, May, Gray, Henney, Galloway, Wharton, Cohen, Johnston, Eccles.Subs: Birks, Archibald, Goulding
Hyde United: Tim Mullock, Chris Lynch, Nicky Hill (Alex Mortimer), Lincoln Adams, Jamie Milligan (Wayne Dean), John O'Kane, Gerry Harrison, Phil Salt, Neil Tolson, Dale Johnson, Matty McNeil. Subs not used: Phil Eastwood.
Hyde made the long journey to Cumbria for this top of the table clash and came away ecstatic after securing the three points with an excellent all round performance in front of the biggest Unibond crowd of the season of 899. The victory showed the title race is far from over and with Workington having six of their last nine games away, there is plenty to play for from the chasing pack.
On a dry firm pitch at Borough Park, Hyde took the initiative from the start and slowly silenced the home crowd. They took the lead on eleven minutes when Nicky Hill headed in a Phil Salt corner. It was a double celebration for Nicky. As well as clinching his first goal of the season, it was also his birthday. Regretfully he had a recurrence of his hamstring injury and had to be replaced on sixty minutes by Alex Mortimer. The Tigers almost increased their lead after Adam Collin dropped a high swirling cross, but Neil Tolson failed to capitalise. For the rest of the half, Hyde looked comfortable apart from a few nervy back-passes, which were always dangerous with the lightening pace of Gary Cohen up front for Workington.
Although the home team had more of the ball in the second half, Tim Mullock was never really tested and it was Hyde who came closest to scoring with a Jamie Milligan free kick and a snap shot from Tolson. Substitute Steve Archibald had the ball in the net for Workington, but was rightly ruled offside.
In the closing stages, it was Hyde who were well on top and after good work from Dale Johnson - who was excellent throughout - the irrepressible Tolson was brought down by Collin. He wanted to take the penalty, but fortunately common sense prevailed as Salt sent Collin the wrong way and the Tigers were home and dry.
This was an important victory for the Tigers and showed they have the ability and application to win big games. It was an all-round team effort from the well organised Tigers and with Gerry Harrison getting better each game, there is still a good chance Hyde can catch Workington. It is now in their own hands.