Saturday 25th October 2003
Northern Premier League First Division
Hyde United: John Baker, Steven Clegg, Ian Pendlebury, Paul Jones, Craig Buckley, John O'Kane, Nicky Hill, John Gaynor (Tony Ellis), Neil Tolson, Anthony Wright (Tony Watts), Matty McNeil. Subs not used: Anthony Kielthy.
Gateshead: Burke, Harrison, Morgan, Cattanagh, Curtis, Bell, Kent, Blandford, Thompson, Chilton, Colvin. Subs: Reay, Dibie, Southern.
This was a very poor performance from the Tigers, and how they missed the suspended Phil Salt. Craig Buckley and John Gaynor returned, but probably wished they hadn't, whilst team, in general, had a collective off day. Gateshead were never really threatened once they had taken the lead on 15 minutes through Richard Kent after the ball had come back off a post. Rank bad defending was the only excuse.
Before that there had been a couple of half chances for Hyde, but after that Terry Burke in the Gateshead goal didn't have a shot on target to save. Gateshead increased their lead just after half-time after more sloppy defending and that was curtains for the Tigers. Plenty of possession, but then so often, giving the ball away or playing too deep, where it didn't matter.
The visitors' time-wasting and a lenient referee prolonged the second half, but in all honesty, the Tigers would not have scored before midnight. Thoughts were it was game too far in a busy week, but the worst performers on the day were actually the lads that had not played both midweek games. Nicky Hill and Ian Pendlebury were the best for Hyde, and they had played every game.
A possible relief that the game at Farsley is off, so the lads can regroup for Colwyn Bay next Saturday. To keep this match in context, it was only the second reverse in the last nine league games and Gateshead, on this showing, were probably the strongest team we have met.