Saturday 8th April 2006
Hednesford Town: Hateley, Adams, Hines, Hadland, Wright, Barrow, Platt, O’Connor, McSweeney, Anthrobus, Hunter. Subs: Lamey, Hyde, Marshall, Beckett, Molloy.
Hyde United: Mark Crossley, David German, Danny Caldecott, Paul Jones, Mike Flynn, Lincoln Adams, Neil Tolson, Gerry Harrison (John O'Kane), Nicky Clee, Dale Johnson, Cayne Hanley. Subs not used: Steve Brackenridge, Paul Armstrong, Tony Ellis, Jean-Paul Ndjebayi.
Hyde visited Keys Park without a win in eight league games, whilst for Hednesford, with the worst defensive record in the league, it was a must win game in their fight against relegation. The home side made the Tigers battle all the way, especially in the second half, when as well as playing into the teeth of a gale, Hyde had to contend with a blinding hailstorm. Battle they did and came away with the three points.
Nathan Wharton, Chris Lynch and Wayne Dean were all missing through injury, Lee Unsworth was unavailable, and with Mark Quayle suspended, the Tigers were down to the bare bones of their squad. However unperturbed, Hyde took the lead after just five minutes when Cayne Hanley nipped in to head home. There should have been more goals as Nicky Clee volleyed just wide before Gary Hateley pulled off as superb save to thwart him again. In between Dale Johnson was narrowly wide when put through. Clee was in the centre of all the action as his long throws in the swirling wind were causing chaos in the home defence and the Tigers were disappointed only to be one up at half time.
Hednesford stepped up the pace in the pace in the second half helped by the strengthening wind, but Neil Tolson stopped them in their tracks by heading home Clee’s corner on 58 minutes. Hyde then had to endure a battering from both the home side, desperate for points, and the rapidly deteriorating weather, but they stuck to their task well in adversity with Mike Flynn outstanding. Mark Crossley, preferred in goal to Jean Paul Ndjebayi, made a number of crucial saves and handled well in the difficult conditions.
John O’Kane replaced Gerry Harrison for the final ten minutes for his first action since the end of September as Hyde held on to fully deserve the three points.