Saturday 22nd April 2006
Worcester City: Skyers, Colley, Burley, Khan, Smith, Lyttle, Stanley, Walker, Wood, Webster, Clegg. Subs: Warner, Warmer, Danks, Watkins, Hodnett.
Hyde United: Jean-Paul Ndjebayi, David German, Chris Lynch, Steve Brackenridge, Mike Flynn, John O'Kane (Lincoln Adams), Neil Tolson, Gerry Harrison, Nicky Clee, Dale Johnson (Mark Quayle), Paul Armstrong. Subs not used: Wayne Dean, Paul Jones, Mark Crossley.
The Tigers in their final away game of the season put on a spirited show, especially in the second half and fully deserved their point and were possibly a bit unlucky not to take all three.
On their first ever visit to Worcester, Hyde found the pitch in terrible shape after a long winter. Almost completely devoid of grass, there were ruts in the goalmouths, which made it difficult for defenders as to how the ball would react when it hit the surface. And so it proved with both Worcester goals coming from the uneven bounce.
Hyde recalled Jean Paul Ndjebayi in goal and had Lincoln Adams, Wayne Dean and Mark Quayle back on the bench after injuries and suspensions but found themselves a goal down after only eight minutes when a wicked bounce allowed Adam Webster to score with a well taken goal. The Tigers should have equalised a minute later, but Neil Tolson put the ball wide with the goal at his mercy.
However Tolson made amends three minutes later when he headed on a long throw from Nicky Clee and Steve Brackenridge, also recalled, scored at the far post. Troy Wood put the home side back in front on 20 minutes when John O'Kane mistimed his clearance leaving the striker an easy chance. The rest of the half was pretty scrappy and at times a bit unsavoury. Chris Smith was booked for a high challenge on Dale Johnson, which resulted in him having to leave the pitch to be replaced by Quayle. Tolson was in the thick of the action and was causing problems for the defence and referee alike and he too went into the book on 30 minutes. The referee did well to be fair, as the ball was frequently bouncing extravagantly resulting in high or mistimed challenges.
Adams replaced O'Kane after the interval and Hyde stepped up the pace and it was no surprise when Tolson slid in to equalise on 57 minutes. The Tigers could have had another on 75 minutes when a brilliant run from Clee set up Quayle, but Lewis Skyers in the Worcester goal made a stupendous save. The match petered out after that, but it was still Hyde in the ascendancy to finish on a high with one of the best away records in the league. With a better home record, the Tigers would have been in the play-offs.