Saturday 12th January 2002
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Hyde United: David Felgate, Dale Hawtin, Matty Taylor, Dominic Crookes, Paul Ashwell, Peter Band (Neil Critchley), Gareth Rowe, Ben Obong (Lee Matthews), Lee Evans, Kevin Leadbetter (Martin Filson), David Nolan
Gateshead: Waind, Batey, Talbot, Mc.Kenzie, Kitchen, Agnew, Thompson, Painter, Preen, Bowey, McAlindon. Subs: Alderson, Bowman, Morrell.
Another victory for the Tigers! Two in a row now and fully deserved. And that with five first team regulars missing, three suspended and two failing fitness tests. Things are certainly looking up and for once other results going in our favour with Hucknall and Whitby losing whilst Marine and Bamber only managed draws. Look out too for Bishop Auckland who appear to be in 'freefall' after losing Manager Tony Lee and declaring they have no money.
Hyde got off to a dream start with only three minutes gone as Benjamin Obong chased a long hopeful ball towards the corner flag where, for some reason, he met 'keeper Graeme Waind! He managed to slip the ball past him from the acutest of angles slowly towards an empty net. A great goal out of nothing. Eighteen minutes later Lee Evans intercepted a sloppy pass and coolly slipped the ball past the advancing Waind who proceeded to have a nightmare of an afternoon with his kicking, not helped by some poor backpasses. The Tigers then lost Peter Band with a 'dead-leg' but reached half-time unscathed.
Gateshead stepped up the pace in the second half but the Tiger's back three of Hawtin, Taylor and Crookes coped well. Dominic Crookes on his debut had a superb game and inspired those around him. David Felgate behind them had another commanding game and was unlucky to be beaten by a great header from Mike Morrell with fifteen minutes to go. Allegedly his mate!
A grandstand finish followed with Lee Matthews having two gilt edge chances to seal it for the Tigers whilst at the other end last ditch tackles and good handling kept Gateshead at bay.
Enter Martin Filson. With everybody expecting him to slot in at centre-half, he decided to be the new Alan Shearer and took the ball to the corner flag whenever he had the chance. Experience counts and so it did again as Filson, Crookes and Felgate ensured the Tigers hung on for three valuable points in what overall was a pretty tetchy game.
Nine more wins needed from eighteen games......its not impossible!