Wednesday 1st January 2003
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Stalybridge Celtic: Dootson, German, Caldecott, Davies, Pearce, Wharton, Bowman, Parr, Mayers, Eastwood, Potts. Subs: Denham, Hooper, Fitzgerald
Hyde United: Peter Crookes, Mike Lomax, Paul Ashwell, Dominic Crookes, Martin Diggle, Neil Fisher, Jason Tee (John McGill), Troy Hayder, Steve Foster, Lee Evans, Rick Whelan (Mike Meszaros (Dave Swanick)) Sent off: Steve Foster.
This match proved to be a bridge too far for the revitalised Tigers with a spectacular collapse in the last twenty-eight minutes. Until then, they had held their own. Celtic had gone ahead on 31 minutes through the impressive Phil Eastwood, but the Tigers had responded well with debutant Neil Fisher hitting the bar with a free-kick and then Dominic Crookes clipping the bar early in the second half.
However, once Kenny Mayers had added a well taken second on 62 minutes, the wheels came off in a grand style. Three minutes later Colin Potts ran from the half way line to score easily and three minutes after that he sent a screamer into the top corner. By now Hyde had lost their shape and discipline and things got worse on 75 minutes as Steve Foster whacked Kevin Parr across the ankles and was rightly sent off. Nathan Wharton tried to take matters into his own hands, literally, and was probably fortunate to escape with just a yellow card.
Eastwood added his second and Stalybridge's fifth on 79 minutes. By now it was a damage limitation exercise for the Tigers, but substitute Chris Denham still managed a sixth with a minute left. This was the Tigers biggest defeat for many a year and leaves Steve Waywell with plenty to ponder for the Colwyn Bay visit on Saturday.