Monday 11th October 2004
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Hyde United: Tim Mullock, Steven Clegg, Craig Buckley, Paul Jones, Jamie Milligan, John Gaynor, Chris Lynch (Carl Barrowclough), Phil Salt, Neil Tolson, Dale Johnson (Wayne Dean), Matty McNeil. Subs not used: Nicky Hill.
Prescot Cables: Priestley, Holmes, Garner, Flynn, Clark, McEwen, Peers, Taylor, O¡¯Donnell, Connolly, McNutt. Subs: Massie, Cooper, Garforth.
Hyde took their unbeaten run to 16 games, but were made to fight all the way by a lively Prescot on Monday evening. The tigers were presented with the September Team of the Month award before the kick-off and this often proves to be the 'kiss of death' and so it proved as Cables took the lead on 14 minutes through Sam McNutt. The goal was created after some excellent skill from Mike O'Donnell, but there was a hint of offside. Interestingly enough the assistant referees flagged an inordinate number of times subsequently, but fortunately the referee did try to play advantage whenever he could.
Hyde stormed back and the irrepressible Neil Tolson equalised three minutes later when he headed home a Jamie Milligan corner. Prior to this Prescot were lucky to clear another Milligan corner with Phil Priestly all at sea. Back came Prescot against the injury ravaged Tigers and McNutt scored his second with a superb execution. A goal in a million, but nothing less than Cables deserved
Already weakened by injuries, Hyde were forced to take off Chris Lynch at half-time causing rearrangements throughout the team. Carl Barrowclough played wide right, with Matty McNeil dropping back into midfield and Craig Buckley going to left back. However Prescot continued to find plenty of space and make most of the running and only a superb save from Tim Mullock stopped them increasing their lead.
A sublime piece of skill by Dale Johnson resulted in the ball being cleared to Phil Salt and the youngster headed his inch perfect cross home with thirty minutes left. A grandstand finish ensued with both teams going close, but in the end, Prescot deserved their point and on another night could have had all three. As for the Tigers, the record start is beginning to weigh heavily and coupled with major players being out injured or carrying knocks, the going is getting tougher. Almost a week to recover before another trip to Lincoln on Saturday in the FA Cup. They will need all the rest they can get.