Saturday 9th April 2005
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Witton Albion: Ralph, Farley, Latham, Pritchard, King, Byrne, Baker, Foy, Moseley, Spike, Lally.Subs: Yates, Connors, Hughes.
Hyde United: Tim Mullock, Chris Lynch, Nicky Hill (Jamie Milligan), Lincoln Adams, Alex Mortimer, John O'Kane (Craig Buckley), Paul Jones, Phil Salt, Wayne Dean (Andrew Mangan), Dale Johnson, Matty McNeil
At Wincham Park on Saturday, Hyde only managed to draw in a game both teams were desperate to win. The final score does not reflect the drama of the game, which was in the balance to the last minute of injury time. Witton have always been a bogey team for Hyde and in the last 13 encounters at Northwich, Hyde have failed to register a victory, so perhaps it was a point won?
Witton started strongly and had two good shouts for penalties for handball before referee Johnson, who had a nightmare, awarded one after 20 minutes for handball against Paul Jones when the ball was lashed against him. Justice was seen to be done when Mike Moseley hit a weak shot against the post and was then penalised for touching the ball again. (The third penalty miss against the Tigers in the last two games)
The referee had already upset the travelling Hyde faithful by disallowing a Matty McNeil header after just four minutes. Matty headed home across the area from 15 yards, but after a long discussion the referee and his assistant disallowed it for offside against somebody else. His explanation later was far from convincing.
Hyde continued to dominate the first half with Nicky Hill, Dale Johnson and Phil Salt all going close. In the second half, Witton, now with the wind behind them, started well and within five minutes of the restart, Adam Foy burst through to put them in front. They then dominated for about twenty minutes and former Droylsden striker, Danny Byrne could have sealed it as he went round Tim Mullock, but shot wide with the goal at his mercy.
Steve Waywell introduced all three subs for Hyde as he tried to inject some urgency into his team and Jamie Milligan immediately began to play and suddenly Witton were on the back foot. Craig Buckley, another sub, went close before Milligan got the all-important goal on 81 minutes when he drifted a free kick straight into the net from 30 yards out.
Now it was all Hyde and Buckley and Johnson left it for each other when either could have scored. Bugsy then hit the 'keepers legs before an almighty scramble saw Hyde hit the bar three times before the ball was cleared. There were numerous close shaves, but the Tigers could not find the net as this thrilling match finished level. Both sides were unhappy with the officials at the end. Some of their decisions had been very poor, but they couldn't be blamed for all the missed chances in the last ten minutes, which could yet prove costly.