Saturday 16th April 2005
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Hyde United: Tim Mullock, Chris Lynch, Nicky Hill, Paul Jones, Jamie Milligan (Alex Mortimer), John O'Kane, Gerry Harrison, Phil Salt (Wayne Dean), Neil Tolson (Andrew Mangan), Dale Johnson, Matty McNeil
Workington: Collin, Varty, Green, May, Gray, Henney, Goulding, Birks, Cohen, Johnston, Eccles. Subs: Wharton, Hewson, Archibald.
In the clash of the top two at Ewen Fields on Saturday, it was Workington who dominated the game, but Hyde who scraped the points to go top of the league, thanks to a last minute own goal. It couldn't have been closer and the Tigers would have to admit they had been fortunate, even though Workington had to play the last thirty minutes with ten men and no recognised goalkeeper. He was never tested as Hyde could not exert any pressure.
Over 300 fans travelled from Cumbria in a crowd of over 1300 and they saw the visitors take the initiative from the start and never let Hyde get into their stride. Gary Cohen twice went close, but otherwise neither 'keeper was troubled as Workington had plenty of the ball, but just couldn't make their superiority count. Hyde's only chance was a long range effort from Neil Tolson.
The second half continued in the same vein until drama unfolded on sixty minutes when Adam Collin handled a yard outside his area collecting a through ball. He was spotted by the sharp-eyed referee and was promptly sent off. Technically correct, but it was harsh. Craig Johnston took over in goal with Jamie Milligan inches over with the resultant free-kick, when one felt he only had to hit the target.
Despite being a man short, Workington continued to dominate, but without being penetrative up front. Both sides introduced their subs in a desperate attempt to snatch the points as a draw would have suited neither team. Milligan had a chance for Hyde, but it looked like it was too little too late.
However in the last minute, one of those subs, Alex Mortimer swung over an in-swinging corner from the right and Marc Green guarding the near post could only slice the ball into the net. Ecstasy for Hyde, but abject despair for Workington. There was still another six minutes of drama with injury time extended. Long enough for Workington to force two more corners with everybody, including the deputy goalie in the area. Hyde survived and could have added to their tally in the last seconds when Andrew Mangan burst clear and with the goal unguarded attempted a shot from the half way line, when he could have took the ball nearer.
Hyde hadn't played well, but they had battled to the end and secured the points and at this time of the season, that is what counts. The news that Whitby had been beaten for the second match running only increased the celebrations at the end in Hyde's last home game of the season.