Monday 1st January 2007
Stalybridge Celtic: Pettinger, Black, Maxfield, Sykes, Flynn, Winn, Brodie, Krief, Ellington, Hume, Parr Subs: Smith(B), Prince, Kay, Hanley, Buxton.
Hyde United: Craig Dootson, David German (Lee Rick), Chris Lynch, Earl Davis, Michael Taylor, Nathan Wharton, David Flitcroft, Steve Pickford (Lincoln Adams), Dale Johnson (Paul Gedman), Gareth Seddon, Nicky Clee. Subs not used: Gerry Harrison, Steve Brackenridge.
The scoreline says it all and probably Hyde should have had more. This was an absolutely fantastic game which had everything and for Hyde fans, bragging rights for some considerable time to come. For the neutral there was some scintillating football, especially from Hyde in the first half and for the ‘Bridge fans a third consecutive defeat with 12 goals conceded, just after John Reid had said they were title contenders in the Local Press. Oh for hindsight! Gareth Seddon chipped in with five goals and looked like he would score every time he attacked the ‘Bridge back four, but it was not just the Seddon show as Hyde surpassed Stalybridge in all departments.
Playing downhill on the sodden pitch, the Tigers started strongly and Dale Johnson was just inches wide after 5 minutes before Nathan Wharton put Seddon through to score his first. He was just wide three minutes later before David Flitcroft and Nicky Clee (both superb on the day) combined to allow Seddon to grab his second. Time then for Craig Dootson to make two brilliant saves before Clee attacked again and was brought down in the box by the unfortunate Kevin Parr, who was substituted minutes later. Seddon made no mistake for the spot and he had notched his hat-trick in just eight minutes.
Two minutes later Johnson scored at the far post and the Tigers were on fire. Clee burst through to be upended on the edge of the box, but the referee waved away Hyde’s appeals. More chances came and went as Hyde completely dominated proceedings up until half-time. ‘Bridge were banished to the pitch early and had to wait fully five minutes for the Tigers to return.
With the slope and wind in their favour, Lee Ellington, who was a class above his team mates scored, scored an opportunist goal within two minutes of the restart and a minute later Mark Hume headed home Mike Flynn’s cross to give Stalybridge a glimmer of hope, but within two minutes, Seddon had grabbed another after Paul Pettinger had failed to hold Clee’s shot. Immediately down the other end for Ellington to nip in and grab another. Four goals in six minutes and time for a breather! At 3-5, the home side were still in the game, but it was the Tigers who looked more likely to score as they ran the Stalybridge defence ragged and contrived to miss chance after chance.
Paul Gedman came on for Johnson with four minutes left and scored with his first touch and then Seddon bagged his fifth right on full time. A brilliant day and what a way to start the brand New Year!