Tuesday 14th December 2004
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Marine: Crookes, Murphy, Fitzsimmons, Ellison, Connolly, Randles, Cain, McNally, Lightfoot, Taylor, Brookfield. Subs: Dolan, Mullin, Elias
Hyde United: Tim Mullock, Steven Clegg, Nicky Hill, Paul Jones, Craig Buckley, John O'Kane, John Gaynor, Phil Salt (Andy Waine), Neil Tolson, Dale Johnson (Wayne Dean), Matty McNeil. Subs not used: Ged Kielty.
On a very windy night in Crosby, two goals from Neil Tolson secured a point for the Tigers, but on reflection this was probably two points lost rather than a point gained. Although an exciting game, Hyde were never really at their best, but as usual managed to carve out a number of chances.
The game revolved around the two 'keepers, Peter Crookes, formerly with Hyde, and struggling with as leg injury, and Tim Mullock. Both made a number of fine saves, but each made a fatal error for two of the goals. Hyde took the lead on ten minutes when Tolson swivelled in the area and the ball was in the net before Crookes could move. Three minutes later Steven Clegg headed one off the line and then Mullock was forced into one of his many good saves. After 34 minutes Crookes joined the action beating away a Phil Salt free-kick. Three minutes before half time, Mullock fumbled and Chris lightfoot was on hand to side foot home, but seconds later Mullock redeemed himself with a brilliant one handed save again from Lightfoot.
Playing with the wind at their backs, Hyde stormed forward at the start of the second half and Tolson grabbed his second within five minutes as Crookes failed to hold his shot and the ball dropped into the net, Salt nearly grabbed another as he hit the angle, but the Tigers joy was short-lived as an unmarked Darren Brookfield headed an equaliser eight minutes later.
With the game finely balanced and Marine's direct style causing problems for the Tigers' defence, Mullock was forced into two more great saves, before substitute, Wayne Dean forced another good save from Crookes in the dying minutes. The unbeaten league run goes on, but Hyde were never at their best and really should have picked up all the points, if it had not been for their defensive lapses.