Saturday 29th March 2003
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Burscough: Taylor, Underwood, Bluck, Teale, Taylor, Burns, Lawlwss, Bryne, Wright, Bowen, Martindale. Subs: Molyneux, Hyland, White
Hyde United: David Fish, Simon Coleman, Paul Williams, Paul Jones, Nicky Spooner, Dave Swanick, Jason Lydiate, Lee Evans (Rob Woodhead), Padi Wilson (Tony Ellis), Tom Brookes (Craig Buckley), Steve Gunby
The Tigers fully deserved their point at Victoria Park and with a little luck could have come away with all three but for two last gasp saves from Burscough 'keeper Matthew Taylor. To say Burscough have reached the semi -final of the FA Trophy, the town was hardly gripped by °cup fever ± as only 170 turned up, at least half of whom were from Hyde.
Nevertheless it was the Hyde faithful who went home happy after this dour encounter. The pitch, although well grassed, was hard and bumpy and in the first half the Tigers also had to contend playing against a strong wind and blinding sun. However they coped admirably despite the loss of Paddi Wilson after only 14 minutes. Wilson had reacted verbally to instructions from the bench and Steve Waywell had no hesitation in immediately substituting him and bringing on last week's hero, Tony Ellis. Paddi, with so much talent being wasted, should have known better.
For the rest of the half, the Hyde defence stood firm, with at least 15 corners against them. Former Oldham Athletic player, Paul Jones had a superb game, and was ably supported by the rest of the defence. Dave Fish handled well whenever he was called into action and the Tigers suddenly started to believe in themselves.
In the second half, Burscough faded and it was Hyde who looked the most likely to score. A great Steve Gunby effort was scrambled around a post and Paul Williams was only inches away with a free kick. Tom Brookes also had a couple of good efforts as Hyde pushed forward despite losing Lee Evans through injury. Rob Woodhead became a makeshift striker, but like the rest of the team, battled for every ball and epitomised the new found spirit in the team. Dave Swannick, so often the fans' object of discontent, had another fine game in midfield and covered every inch of the pitch as Burscough proved they were not up for the fight. They will need to do considerably better next week, if they are to make the Trophy final. But let's not take anything away from the Tigers, who although relegated, are still prepared to fight.