Wednesday 30th March 2005
Manchester Premier Cup Final
Hyde United: Tim Mullock, Chris Lynch, Nicky Hill, Paul Jones, Jamie Milligan, John O'Kane, Wayne Dean (Carl Barrowclough), Phil Salt, Neil Tolson (Matty McNeil), Dale Johnson, Alex Mortimer (Craig Buckley). Subs not used: Tony Ellis, John Gaynor.
Maine Road: Hall, Mitchell, Jay, Howe, Bloore, Chappell, Clancey, Senior, Richards, Crookes, Gates. Subs: Simms, Marshall, Cheetham, Halligan.
In a sensational Manchester Premier Cup Final, Dale Johnson scored twice in injury time to clinch the Trophy for the Tigers after they had been forced to come back four times by the young spirited Maine Road side. Woeful defending by both sides at wet and windy Boundary Park added to the excitement in a pulsating game with an unlikely seven goals coming in the last twenty minutes.
The first half was tame considering what was to follow as Gareth Richards gave Maine Road the lead on sixteen minutes after Hyde had needlessly given away a corner. Hyde equalised right on half time as Wayne Dean slotted home. The start of the second half was pretty even before Matty McNeil was introduced for Hyde and he started to trouble the defence immediately. However Colin Marshall curled a free kick around the wall and past a startled Tim Mullock to put the underdogs back in front. Hyde stormed up field and four minutes later, Paul Jones headed home Jamie Milliganís corner. An alert assistant gave the goal as Maine Road scrambled clear. Unperturbed Richards ran through straight from the kick-off and within twenty seconds had slotted past Mullock, who had come racing out, to put Maine Road back in front.
It was now all Hyde as the underdogs wilted under the pressure and Craig Buckley equalised with seven minutes to go. It seemed a formality now for Hyde to go on and win, but they were shocked when Chris Crookes headed home to put Maine road back in front with just four minutes left. It looked like Hyde had committed defensive suicide, but with Maine Road tiring, Johnson snatched an equaliser seconds into injury time. Then sensationally Carl Barrowclough burst clear, he squared to Johnson, who had the simple task of slotting home for a great winner to leave Maine Road devastated.
A quite unbelievable game as Hyde took their goal tally to eleven for the week and also had a couple disallowed. It was hard on Maine Road who had given their all in a thrilling game. The Tigers now have April clear for their assault on the title, but they will have to defend better than this.
Played at Boundary Park, Oldham