Thursday 26th April 2001
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Gateshead: Swan, Watson, Talbot, Fitzgerald, Bates, Bowman, Thompson, McAlindon, Preen, Edgecumbe, Alderson. Subs: Proudlock, Wright, Sunley
Hyde United: Richard Acton, John Foster, Paul Robertson, Martin McDonald, Paul Taylor, Peter Band, Matty Taylor (Carl Laurie), Neil Hall, Neil Critchley (Lloyd Richardson), John Grant (Colin Hall), Gavin Salmon Sent off: Paul Taylor.
Hyde welcomed back skipper John Foster after his long term injury and also gave a debut to goalkeeper Richard Acton who signed from Runcorn. It took just three minutes for our new goalkeeper to be beaten although it certainly wasn't his fault. Hyde failed to clear an attack and Gateshead's Paul Thompson angled in a shot from the corner of the penalty area and in off the post with Acton beaten at full stretch. Hyde went very close to equalising on ten minutes when a Matty taylor cross from the right was headed goalwards by Neil Critchley but Adrian Swan managed to tip the ball onto the crossbar before the ball was scrambled to safety. On 25 minutes it could have been two when Alderson battled well to keep the ball in play before cutting back for Wayne Edgcumbe who shot wide. Hyde were really up against it on 26 minutes when Paul Taylor was shown a second yellow card and was sent off. His first booking was deserved for a lunge in the centre of the pitch that was frankly, nowhere near the ball. His second was a little on the harsh side though as it was for elbowing, fair enough to say that when he jumped he used his arms for leverage but he certainly didn't swing out maliciously at the player he was jumping with. From the resulting free kick Talbot forced a save from Acton as the ball sped towards the top corner. A minute later Swan saved at the other end after a swift turn and shot from Gavin Salmon. On 32 minutes Preen combined well with Edgcumbe but Acton did well to save at close range from the Gateshead skipper. A minute later when Edgcumbe broke the offside trap it was Acton again the hero as he saved one attempt before leaping back to his goal-line where Steve Preen had just sent the ball to make a second save. Five minutes after half time all Hyde hope was gone when Steve Preen rose to head home from a right wing cross, Acton managed to get fingers to his effort but the header had enough power to trickle over the line. Around the hour mark Hyde's slick passing was on show and whilst it was the bright spark in the game, nothing came from it in terms of chances. On 81` minutes Gateshead made the scoreline look much more emphatic than it was when Gareth McAlindon took advantage of poor defending by Foster and ball watching by Laurie to stroke home the final goal of the game.