Friday 25th March 2005
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Frickley Athletic: Ingham, Robinson, Lindley, Woolford, Kennedy, Daly, Pugh, Ashley, Nazha, Chambers, Collins. Subs: Evans, Russell, Foley.
Hyde United: Tim Mullock, John Gaynor, Nicky Hill, Lincoln Adams, Alex Mortimer, John O'Kane, Gerry Harrison (Paul Jones), Phil Salt, Wayne Dean (Andrew Mangan), Dale Johnson (Jamie Milligan), Matty McNeil
Two early goals secured Hyde the points from a tough encounter at the idyllically named Millennium stadium on Good Friday to keep the pressure on leaders Workington. Frickley is never an easy place to go and this visit was no exception with many of the houses outside the ground desolate and a hostile environment inside it. The pitch was very dry and bouncy and made close control difficult, but Hyde applied themselves well and deserved the three points.
The Tigers took the lead on four minutes when Dale Johnsonís persistence paid off before he squared to ball to Wayne Dean who back-heeled the ball home. Deano was close seconds later before Gerry Harrison headed home Alex Mortimerís corner on 24 minutes. Hyde controlled the rest of the half but should have had at least another goal for their efforts. Matty McNeil came closest with an overhead kick which clipped the bar.
Frickley stepped up the pace in the second half and became more physical as their frustrations grew. Both Steve Robinson and Steve Woolford were lucky to stay on the pitch as ineffective referee Mr Benton lost control and respect, but managed to book both Johnson and Dean when they appeared the be the victims. Leroy Chambers pulled a goal back with twenty minutes to go to set up a tense finish as the Tigers battled all the way.
Hydeís goalscorers were withdrawn, Harrison with a hamstring injury and Dean to save himself from further rough treatment as he continued to run the defence ragged, but the reorganised team stuck to their guns to earn the victory. In the closing seconds, Steve Kennedy was sent off for a second yellow but the referee had lost control by then and the final whistle saved himself and both teams further embarrassment.