Saturday 5th March 2011
Stafford Rangers: Lee Evans, Martyn Naylor, Craig Reid, Jermaine Johnson, Craig McAughtrie, Niall Maguire, Marco Addagio, Levi Reid, Ben Mills, Tyree Clarke, Danny Edwards. Subs: Shane Benjamin, Luke Keen, Callum Wright, Tom Moss, Tom Turner
Hyde FC: Russell Saunders, Dean Stott, Mark Lees, Steve Halford, Chris Lynch (Danny Hudson), Andrew Smart, Ashley Young, Matty Burke, Kevin Holsgrove (Lee Rick), Dale Johnson, Matty Barlow (Jack Mackreth). Subs not used: Scott McNiven, Kyle Clancy.
This game was perceived to be Hyde’s most important match of the season with a potential relegation place at stake for the loser. The reality was that once Dale Johnson had converted two crosses from Andy Smart into the net in the first nine minutes, the game was as good as over and became a stroll for the Tigers. In the process Hyde cancelled out the ten goal goal-difference between the two clubs.
Smart himself got on the scoresheet on twenty eight minutes when he hammered home from 25 yards and found the net again five minutes later when he converted a penalty after Kevin Holsgrove had been brought down by Craig Reid in the area. A 4-0 interval lead was way beyond anybody’s expectation but extremely welcome to the Hyde travelling faithful.
Stafford had a chance after the break but that was it. Hyde continued to force the pace and grabbed a fifth on 69 minutes when Johnson completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot after another Reid foul. Lee Rick and Danny Hudson both went close as Hyde could easily have had more goals in the final stages.
Overall it was an excellent performance from the Tigers, who had welcomed back Russell Saunders in goal and Steve Halford in the centre of the defence to bring some much needed solidity at the back.