Saturday 4th January 2020
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Hyde United: Luke Mewitt, Bradley Roscoe, Kyle Brownhill, Liam Tongue, Tom Dean, Jordan Fagbola, Connor Hughes (Chris Sutherland), Alex Starcenko, Chris Sharp (Daniel Turner), Tom Pratt, Paddy Lane (Jack Dyche). Subs not used: Jamal Crawford, John McCombe.
FC United of Manchester: Belford, Morris, Dodd, Griffiths, Doyle, Jones, Sinclair-Smith, Potts, Owolabi, Curran, Linney. Subs: Lenehan, Walker, Donohue, Ennis, Kerr
It was a five-star display from the form side in the division as they ran riot over the tigers with a stellar 5-1 win in front of a crowd just short of 1300. With a double each from Owolabi and Linney plus a header from Curtis Jones, it allowed the visitors to cruise towards victory.
FC United, one of the best footballing sides in the league, found it comfortable from the start knocking the ball around making it difficult for the home side. That being said, it could be argued Hyde should have taken the as Pratt managed to play off the shoulder of the last defender onto a clipped ball over the top but his shot one on one was straight at the Belford who spread himself well.
Only 5 minutes later and the visitors were ahead, Linney was allowed too much room on the left wing to cut inside and fire a shot across goal which found the right bottom corner.
From there onwards it was total domination as they constantly played through the Hyde midfield, which, in turn, allowed them the opportunity to find wingers and overlapping full backs.
On 38 minutes Owolabi had a great chance to double the lead, but his shot across the face of goal was just wide. However, he didn’t make the same mistake shortly after, as Potts played a ball over the top Owolabi was too quick and finished off the inside of the post.
Before the break, the visitors added another as Dean’s header back to Mewitt never had enough power on to reach the keeper and across came Owolabi to slot in easily.
After the break, the visitors continued to dominate as Griffiths and Owolabi were denied the chances to increase the score line by excellent Mewitt saves, although he couldn’t stop the fourth as Linney fired a shot into the bottom corner.
The home sides best opportunity came on 68 minutes when they broke well, Sharp selflessly squaring inside the box for Tongue who somehow blasted over. Consequently, FC United then punished again as Jones got the final header onto a cross which clipped off the underside of the bar before finding goal.
Hyde added a consolation in injury time as Dean was fouled by scorer Jones inside the area and substitute Turner’s spot kick beat Belford. Hyde boss McGurk commented to the radio team after the game that the visitors were “excellent and easily the best team we have come up against this season”.
A controlling and dominating performance from the visitors clearly delighted manager Neil Reynolds as he paraded around Ewen Fields at full time to the standing ovation from the away supporters to keep the pressure on fellow challengers South Shields and Lancaster.
By George Rothwell