Saturday 1st January 2005
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Radcliffe Borough: Hurst, Duffy, Kelly, McGuire, Hill, Sampson, Wilson, Battersby, Killheeney, Foster, Forrest. Subs: Denney, Crowther, Heald
Hyde United: Tim Mullock, Steven Clegg, Nicky Hill, Alex Mortimer, Craig Buckley (Ged Kielty), John O'Kane, Wayne Dean (Carl Barrowclough), Phil Salt, Damien Hindle, John Gaynor, Matty McNeil. Subs not used: Tony Ellis.
Hyde failed to score for the first time this season and paid the ultimate price as former favourite Steve Foster scored a minute into the second half to end the Tiger's unbeaten league run at waterlogged Stainton Park.
The referee inspected the pitch twice before allowing the game to proceed, but it was Radcliffe who were all at sea for the first ten minutes as Hyde, missing five regulars through injury, quickly got into their stride despite playing uphill and against the wind. However as the rain started to lash down again, Hyde were pushed further and further back and were indebted to Tim Mullock who kept Radcliffe at bay until half-time.
Hyde were probably the happier of the teams at half-time looking forward to playing downhill with the wind at their backs, but with the pitch now completely sodden, it became more of a lottery and a killer strike from Foster a minute into the second half settled the game. He turned Steven Clegg, who lost his footing and slotted the ball into the corner of the net.
Radcliffe had other chances to settle it but Mullock stood firm and as the match progressed, Hyde came into their own. Carl Barrowclough was introduced on the right and his silky skills caused all sorts of problems for defenders attempting to turn and in the last quarter new signing Damien Hindle had three sharp chances, hitting the angle of post and bar with one of them. Craig Buckley had the best chance, but lost his footing with the goal at his mercy.
The run is over, but the injury ravaged Tigers were certainly not disgraced as the pitch and the elements proved to be a great leveller.
Perhaps it was the Waywell New Year jinx? In his two years with us, we have lost all the New Year games, Stalybridge in year one, Witton last year and now Radcliffe!