Saturday 22nd March 2003
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Droylsden: Phillips, Hall, Warner, Farley, Burke, OˇŻBrien, Kevan, Murphy, Salmon, Wright, Haarhoff. Subs: Chambers, Glendenning, Kerr.
Hyde United: David Fish, Simon Coleman, Paul Williams, Paul Jones, Nicky Spooner, Mark Sertori (Tony Ellis), Jason Lydiate, Dave Swanick, Padi Wilson, Tom Brookes (Mike Meszaros), Steve Gunby (Rob Woodhead)
For once, former Tigers did not come back to haunt us as Hyde battled to hold on to a Tony Ellis strike and take all the points in this Tameside derby. The Droylsden faithful ( not as many as from Hyde) had turned up, inspired by their leader, expecting a 10-0 victory. They were to leave before the end, bitterly disappointed, as the Tigers defended superbly throughout.
The pitch was difficult and with seemingly plenty of building work going on everywhere, atmosphere was a bit thin on the ground. The dug-outs were open-air, but totally adequate on the day in the warm spring sunshine!
The Tigers were again missing Matty Duffy, Rick Whelan, Steve Foster and John Gaynor, and Lee Evans had also joined the lengthening list, but welcomed back Jason Lydiate who had a storming game at right back. Making his debut for Hyde was former Stockport and Leigh player, Paul Williams. He, too, had a good game and gave the team the all important balance. But it was in the middle of defence where Hyde were strong. The experienced trio of Jones, Spooner and Coleman absorbed everything Droylsden threw at them. Behind them, Dave Fish handled well, apart from one rush of blood which could have proved costly as Ged Murphy struck the bar with a glancing effort.
The original plan was to play Mark Sertori up-front, but he lasted only ten minutes, before he pulled up lame.So to plan B with Ellis partnering Paddi Wilson. Steve Gunby had a face injury in the first half, and was replaced by Rob Woodhead on fifty minutes. Mike Meszaros replaced the tiring Tom Brookes on the hour as the Tigers pushed forward.
On 71 minutes a great cross from Lydiate found Paddi and, although his shot was well blocked by Paul Phillips, 'the assistant' Tony Ellis was there to hammer home the rebound. Game, set and match and humble pie for an after match snack.