Monday 18th April 2005
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Leek Town: Cartwright, Yates, Wooliscroft, Sutton, Heathcote, Hawthorne, Proffitt, MacPherson, Whittaker, Butterworth, Brown. Subs: Crowe, Haddrell, Johnson.
Hyde United: Tim Mullock, Chris Lynch, Nicky Hill (Alex Mortimer), Paul Jones, Jamie Milligan, John O'Kane, Gerry Harrison, Phil Salt (Craig Buckley), Neil Tolson, Andrew Mangan (Wayne Dean), Matty McNeil
In a game both sides were desperate to win neither could gain the initiative and a pulsating match finished all square. That really is only part of the story as the Tigers came from two goals down and in an absolutely fabulous second half, both teams had chances to seal it. The excellent referee, Mr Thompson , added to the enjoyment and he said it was the best game he had refereed all season. The match had everything with the woodwork being hit twice, goal-line clearances and chances going missing when it seemed easier to score, but nevertheless Hyde were disappointed after giving themselves a mountain to climb with some crazy defending.
After Hyde had dominated the early stages, Leek took the lead on 23 minutes when the visitors gave away a needless corner and from the cross the impressive Darryl Proffitt hit home from the edge of the area courtesy of a deflection. Five minutes later Leek had another, after a Phil Salt corner had been belted upfield. Hyde were left short at the back and Dean Butterworth scored at the second attempt. How Leek managed to have three attackers to one Hyde defender, only the absent defenders can answer.
Hyde suddenly began to realise they were in a game and after Neil Tolson had hit the woodwork, he was on the spot five minutes later to head home a minutes before half time. After a half time rollicking, the Tigers re-emerged for the second period and looked a totally different team. Leek were penned back and after Mark Cartwright had made a number a good saves and plenty of near misses, Craig Buckley was introduced on 65 minutes. He could have scored within a minute, but seconds later, Matty McNeil equalised. Time for a grandstand finish as both sides had chances to win it as the game flowed from end to end. Neither team could apply the killer touch and ultimately had to settle for a draw, but the match will be remembered for some considerable time. Man of the match for Hyde for the second match running was Paul Jones as he inspired all around him.