Monday 14th February 2005
Manchester Premier Cup Semi-Final
Ashton United: Trueman, Thackeray, Carty, Johnson, White, Royle, Fleury, Allison, Hardy, Garvey, Clee. Subs: OíLeary Jones, Connor, Cooney, Carden, Dolan.
Hyde United: Tim Mullock, John Gaynor, Nicky Hill, Alex Mortimer, Jamie Milligan (Phil Salt), John O'Kane, Wayne Dean, Chris Lynch, Neil Tolson (Paul Jones), Dale Johnson (Carl Barrowclough), Matty McNeil. Subs not used: Andy Waine, Tony Ellis.
This was a game, which had everything, and in the end Hyde made hard work of progressing through to the final of the Manchester Premier Cup. Ashton were under new management for the game, well would have been if Paul Futcher hadnít been on holiday. Whilst on the other hand, Steve Waywell must have been tearing his hair out as the Tigers frittered away a comfortable two goal half time lead and found themselves a goal behind with just twelve minutes left. However the resilience we have seen in recent games again came to the fore as Wayne Dean grabbed an equaliser with just seven minutes left to take the game into extra time. The alarming thing for Hyde is that they have conceded nine goals in the last three 3 away games, most of them through sloppy defending.
There was no sign of the excitement to come as Jamie Milligan put Hyde in front on 11 minutes when his curling free kick was juggled over the line by Danny Trueman. The ball was then changed twice in as many minutes before Neil Tolson put Hyde two up with an exquisite finish after a superb Milligan cross. A floodlight failure on one of the pylons suggested the well-documented floodlight problem at Hurst Cross still hasnít been resolved, but the referee agreed the match could continue.
By half time, the tigers were cruising but that soon evaporated as impressive winger, Nick Clee headed in within three minutes of the restart and then Dean Johnson flicked in a near post header to level the tie seven minutes later. It was now end-to-end stuff and Dale Johnson could have put Hyde in front after a great link up with Tolson. A minute later another Ashton corner and Andy Thackeray was on hand to lash the ball home. Hyde were not disheartened and stormed forward and after another good move, Wayne Dean equalised with just seven minutes left. Still time for Johnson to hit a post for Hyde before the ninety minutes were up.
Hyde were always on top in extra time and the all important goal came after seven minutes when John Gaynor was up-ended in the box and Jamie Milligan stroked home the penalty. In fact Hyde should have had a penalty in the first minute of the game as Tolson was brought down in the box, but the referee, who was erratic throughout, gave a goal kick.
In the second period of extra time, Phil salt replaced Milligan to add some stability to the Tigers midfield. Tolson could have clinched another but was dispossessed as he tried to round Trueman rather than shoot. Perhaps it was the white boots? He was ultimately replaced by Paul Jones, but he had played well and seemed to have his confidence back. A few more chances as Hyde finished strongly to progress to the final, Whilst Futcher would seem to have plenty to do to get Ashton out of trouble.