Saturday 5th February 2005
F.A. Trophy 4th Round
Hereford United: Mawson, Travis, James, Williams, Pitman, Purdie, Carey Bertram, Stanley, Mkandawire, Robinson, Anyinsah. Subs: Smith, Scott, Green, Brown, Hyde.
Hyde United: Tim Mullock, Kieran Delaney, Nicky Hill, John Gaynor, Jamie Milligan (Andy Waine), John O'Kane, Wayne Dean, Chris Lynch, Neil Tolson, Dale Johnson (Carl Barrowclough), Matty McNeil. Subs not used: Tony Ellis, Ged Kielty, Paul Jones.
The Tigers gave their all at a cold and wet Edgar Street but were ultimately defeated by the superior skill and fitness of an impressive Hereford outfit, who looked like they could now go on and win the competition. Hyde were without Phil Salt who was suspended and Paul Jones who had failed to recover from his calf injury.
Hyde started well on the heavy pitch and had a chance in the first minute, but Matty McNeil could not get a clear sight of goal. There were few chances in the first period after that, but Hyde held their shape well and by half time would have been the happier of the two teams.
It was important for Hyde not to concede early in the second half but they succumbed to a killer goal just three minutes after the restart as Tamika Mkandawire flicked on, and the ball crept past Tim Mullock at his near post. Hyde then played their best football of the game and were still in the match when John O’Kane was disposed in midfield and a flowing move allowed Daniel Carey Bertram to add a second. Rob Purdie added a third, minutes later, as Mullock could only parry Bertram’s shot. Hereford were now on the rampage like their bull mascot as they had certainly stepped up the tempo after the break and were ultimately too good for the hard working Tigers. In the last quarter of the game their full time training came to the fore.
Although Hyde battled to the end they could not find a consolation goal, despite some close shaves, but they were far from embarrassed with some excellent individual performances. Dale Johnson was impressive, especially in the first half, John Gaynor covered every inch of the pitch, whilst Nicky Hill and Kieran Delaney were sound at the back Defeated but not disgraced and some kind compliments from the Hereford boss, Graham Turner, who felt Hyde had given them a good game.
The news of losses for Workington and Whitby added a little cheer on the way home for the travelling Tigers’ fans and showed there is still plenty to play for in the championship. It may be a cliché, but there is a long way to go before the fat lady sings.