Sunday 9th November 2003
Northern Premier League First Division
Hyde United: Tim Mullock, Steven Clegg, Ian Pendlebury, Paul Jones, Craig Buckley, John O'Kane, Nicky Hill, Phil Salt, Neil Tolson (Kieran Delaney), Anthony Wright (Tony Ellis), Matty McNeil. Subs not used: John Gaynor.
Workington: Pape, Grasy, Wharton, Varty, Henney, Lewis, Ennis, Hewson, Murray, Goulding, Johnston. Subs: Dawson, Coyles, Thornton
Hyde left it late against a workmanlike Workington side to secure the points, but the game should have been over long before Paul Jones headed in with three minutes to go. The match followed a similar pattern to many before. Plenty of possession but no killer touch up front.
Tim Mullock made his debut in goal for the Tigers and gave the defence immediate stability, despite being called into serious action only once in the game. He was adjudged to have brought down Glen Murray, whose theatrical dive convinced the referee. A yellow card for Mullock and no chance with Craig Johnston's penalty. The goal game just three minutes after Anthony Wright had swung his left foot to give the Tigers the lead on 51 minutes.
The equaliser wasn't really deserved, but it meant Hyde had it all to do again. Neil Tolson was carried off on 68 minutes to leave the Tigers an uphill task, but Kieran Delaney added some verve to midfield as the Tigers powered forward in the last quarter.
Craig Buckley could have clinched it for Hyde but contrived to miskick from a yard out, but it was a goal from an unlikely source in Jones which put the Tigers back in front. The football started to flow again and with a minute to go, Phil Salt scored the goal of the game with a beautiful shimmy before slotting home.
Alls well that end's well as they say, but the Tigers have to bury teams when they are on top, if they want to be serious title contenders. There were some good individual perfomances with Ian Pendlebury probably being the most impressive on the day.
The experiment with Sunday football was inconclusive. The scaremongers who predicted no crowd were proved wrong as 234 turned up, which was 20 more than Gateshead a couple of weeks ago, and nine more than the Saturday league average