Saturday 11th September 2004
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Hyde United: Tim Mullock, Lee Brough (Wayne Dean), Nicky Hill, Paul Jones, Jamie Milligan, John O'Kane, John Gaynor, Chris Lynch, Neil Tolson, Dale Johnson, Matty McNeil. Subs not used: Craig Buckley, Steven Clegg.
Lincoln United: Conroy, Wilikins, Brown, Minett, Hone, Gowshall, Hawley, Bull, Clarke, Miller, Trout. Subs: George, Gilbert, Williams.
Hyde's unbeaten start to the season continued at Ewen Fields on Saturday against Lincoln United. But the Tigers had to fight all the way, and this time it was Hyde who snatched an injury time equaliser, rather than Leek the previous Monday.
The Tigers started abysmally and it was no surprise when Jamie Clarke shot Lincoln into the lead on 11 minutes. Slowly but surely the Tigers clawed their way back into the game, but the passing was still wayward. Despite their indifferent performance, Hyde still created chances and both Dale Johnson and Neil Tolson should have scored when well placed.
The first half was scrappy and the second little better. Lincoln grew in confidence as the match went on and their reporter was beginning to wax lyrical about them caressing the ball around the pitch. Poetic licence perhaps, but the Tigers, in all honesty, never got going. Nevertheless they managed to create a hatful of chances in the second half with Nicky Hill striking the bar with a screamer and all three strikers firing wide when they should have found the net.
With seven minutes left, Matty McNeil was wrestled to the floor as he went into the area. A certain penalty it seemed. The referee who, not for the first time, was miles behind play, looked across to the assistant. He had a perfect view, but saw 'nothing' and play was waved on. That looked to be the end for the Tigers and summed up the whole afternoon.
Three extra minutes were added and with just seconds remaining, a free kick was floated into the area, not cleared properly by the overworked Lincoln defence, and Mc Neil was on hand to lash the ball home from 20 yards to salvage a point for the Tigers.
Although Hyde remain unbeaten, the flowing football is missing and it is desperate to get Phil Salt back as soon as possible. He is being sorely missed, but 15 points from seven games is a good return for a team yet to hit top form