Saturday 23rd October 2004
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Hyde United: Tim Mullock, Steven Clegg, Nicky Hill, Paul Jones, Jamie Milligan, John O'Kane, John Gaynor (Chris Lynch), Phil Salt, Neil Tolson, Dale Johnson (Carl Barrowclough), Matty McNeil. Subs not used: Wayne Dean.
Wakefield-Emley: Cuss, Lindell, Hatto, Painter, Wood, Aspinall, Zoll, Fox, Kenworthy, Muller, Wright. Subs: O¡¯Brien, Hitchen, O¡¯Reilly.
The Tigers took their unbeaten run to eighteen games when they overcame Wakefield-Emley in a game they should have sewn up before half-time. The first half belonged comprehensively to the Tigers and it was no surprise when a great pass from John Gaynor was slotted home by Neil Tolson on 26 minutes. Hyde could already have been two up by then as Paul Cuss in the Wakefield goal was struggling with Jamie Milligan's corners.
Seven minutes after the goal, Nicky Hill put through an excellent through ball. Matty McNeil pursued it, Cuss misjudged the bounce, to leave Matty the simple task of side footing home from three yards. Hill had a strong game at left back, despite the knowledge it was his partner's due date for their first child and he could be called away at any time. In the event, she showed due consideration.
Hyde should have had more goals before the break, but still went in happy with a two-goal lead. It was assumed Wakefield couldn't play any worse in the second half and so it proved as they staged a comeback after a half time rollicking. Five minutes into the second period, Phil Salt gave the ball away to Steve Kenworthy who promptly put it in the net from 30 yards, which gave Tim Mullock no chance. A super goal and one, which gave Wakefield, renewed hope in a game, which had seemingly slipped away, some time before. They stepped up the pace, tackles became sharper and harder and the officials struggled to keep pace.
After 58 minutes Gaynor was the recipient of a dreadful challenge from Adam Muller, which left him writhing on the floor with no boot. A yellow for Muller, when everyone expected red. A case of the referee ducking a key decision and he was again the focus of attention as Tolson was fouled in the area when tackled from behind. A goal kick was the verdict which of all the possible decisions it could not have been. Tolson had the ball in the net later but a zealous assistant flagged for offside as he had done for most of the second period. He was certainly sharp-eyed when it came to offside but failed to notice incidents just yards from him including the tackle on Gaynor. Wakefield's Nicky Wood was carried off with concussion, but refused paramedic help when the ambulance arrived.
Wakefield had a purple spell in the second half for about 20 minutes and it needed some strong defending to keep them at bay. Paul Jones was again outstanding at the heart of the Tigers defence, whilst McNeil was irrepressible up front. It turned out to be a tough game but Hyde held firm and then finished much stronger in the last quarter and could have increased their tally as Wakefield tired and picked up too late bookings for poor challenges Millgan struck the bar from 25 yards with a curling free kick and Tolson and Barrowclough both went close.