Saturday 9th February 2008
Hyde United: Craig Dootson, Chris Lynch (Dale Johnson), Danny Warner, David Morley, Peter Band, Mark Innes, Lee Cartwright, Steve Pickford, Matthew Tipton, Gareth Seddon, Nicky Clee. Subs not used: Chris Simm, Steve Bushell, Nathan Wharton, Gerry Harrison.
Leigh RMI: Mottram, Goulding, Heald, Carrol, Marsh Evans, Prosser, Settle, Gibson, Salmon, Smyth, Roberts.
With many of their play-off contenders involved in tough games, Hyde failed to make hay in the glorious sunshine against bottom club, Leigh RMI. Although they dominated much of the game, they could not turn their supremacy into goals and were also found wanting in defence. By the end, the visitors could have secured an unlikely victory as first substitute Richard Checuti struck a post and then in the last minute another substitute Robbie Talbot missed from three yards.
The match didn’t live up to the weather and failed to ignite despite an excellent surface and both sides desperately needing a win for different reasons. Hyde had the best of the early chances with Matthew Tipton and Gareth Seddon both going close, but Leigh were working hard getting men behind the ball when possible.
Surprisingly it was Leigh who took the lead on forty minutes through an exquisite lob from Mark Smyth after the home defence failed to clear. Their joy was short-lived as the Tigers equalised just three minutes later when Nicky Clee crossed from the left and Steve Pickford scored with a near post header.
After the break, Hyde started strongly with Lee Cartwright having a goal-bound shot blocked and then man of the match, David Morley set up Seddon only for Richard Mottram to save well.
Steve Settle had a sickening collision with Hyde ‘keeper, Craig Dootson and had to leave the field to be replaced by the impressive Checuti. He soon made his mark with a cracking shot which Dootson did well to turn onto a post after some comedy defending from the home side.
Mottram thwarted Seddon with another good save before he made an even better save when Clee burst through. Seddon following up could only hit the ball wide. Mottram’s only blemish on an otherwise excellent afternoon was a poor clearance in the final minute which only found Seddon. However the league’s leading scorer was pulled back as he headed for goal by Rob Marsh Evans, who was rightly booked.
It was the visitors who had a couple of chances in five minutes of injury time before Talbot missed a sitter in the dying seconds, to leave the home fans wondering what may have been with a better performance.
Steve Pickford heads the equaliser. Pic: Chris Hilton