Saturday 29th January 2005
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Bamber Bridge: Banks, J.Sheppard, Shuttleworth, Bain, Macauley, Steel, Turner, S.Sheppard, Ward, Wright, King. Subs: McManus, Lancaster, Pulvino.
Hyde United: Tim Mullock, Kieran Delaney, Nicky Hill, Alex Mortimer, Jamie Milligan, John O'Kane, Wayne Dean (Ged Kielty), Phil Salt, Neil Tolson, Dale Johnson (Carl Barrowclough), Matty McNeil. Subs not used: Tony Ellis.
The Tigers bounced back in emphatic style after their midweek mauling at Matlock to complete a comprehensive victory at Irongate in the Lancashire sunshine. There were problems for Hyde before kick-off with Dale Johnson arriving late and Chris Lynch breaking down in the warm up causing a quick reshuffle of the defence. The good news for the Tigers though, was the return of Nicky Hill after a four-week lay-off and he looked like he had never been away.
The pitch was firm and dry as Hyde started strongly and Johnson made up for lost time putting the ball in the net after only four minutes after it had come back off 'keeper Andy Banks. Hyde increased their lead on twenty minutes when Jamie Milligan curled a free kick from 30 yards passed the despairing Banks. This put the Tigers in total control and they never looked back. The flowing passing game returned and Bamber were left to chase shadows for long periods of the match. They were well beaten long before the finish.
In the second half, Neil Tolson twice went close, firstly hitting the bar and then being inches wide with a toe poke before Matty McNeil superbly headed in Milligan's pinpoint free kick.
Johnson grabbed his second with twenty minutes to go after being put through by Milligan and the help of another rebound off the 'keeper. Amazingly it is the first time Johnson has scored more than one goal in a game. It was fully deserved as he wreaked havoc in the Bamber Bridge defence all afternoon with little protection from the referee.
The Tigers had controlled the game from start to finish and turned in a much-improved performance, which was just the right fillip for this week's trip to Hereford, whilst at the same time keeping Workington in touching distance.