Monday 15th December 2003
Northern Premier League First Division
Hyde United: Neil Tolson, Steven Clegg, Ian Pendlebury, Paul Jones, Jamie Milligan (Andy Waine), John O'Kane, Nicky Hill, Phil Salt, Kieran Delaney (Ross McNeilly), Anthony Wright (John Gaynor), Matty McNeil
Colwyn Bay: Parry, Hobson,Porter, McMahon, Heathcote, Johnson, Dews, Gibson, Spink, Skirving, Ovenden. Subs: Kendrick, Sykes, Humphries.
The Tigers bounced back from their disappointment at Gateshead with an emphatic performance against a very lacklustre Colwyn Bay. But that was only part of the story as this game belonged to leading scorer, Neil Tolson, on this bitterly cold night.
For the first 29 minutes, Tolson deputised in goal as debutant 'keeper, Ross McNeilly was held up in traffic on the M1, but so well the defence played in front of him, he did not have a solitary to save, even though Colwyn knew he was deputising. Normal service was resumed when McNeilly arrived as Tolson switched to centre forward and the unlucky Kieran Delaney was sacrificed. He had made a storming start.
Just eight minutes later Tolson was in the thick of it as Mick Heathcote fouled him as he burst through with the defence all at sea. A booking for Heathcote and also one for 'keeper Matthew Parry for offering the referee an unwanted opinion. The referee, David Benton had an excellent game and was absolutely spot-on as Tolson, ( who else?) converted the penalty. Earlier the impressive Nicky Hill had given the Tigers the lead on 16 minutes with a great glancing header from a Jamie Milligan cross.
The second half was only four minutes old as Anthony Wright should have scored, but the ball ricocheted to Phil Salt whose cross was then put away by the persevering Wright. As Colwyn started to sink, Hyde stepped up the pressure with some brilliant possession football and only Parry stopped it becoming a rout.
You can't keep a good man down as they say, and so it was on 67 minutes, as Tolson received the ball 35 yards from goal on the touchline. There looked no danger but an exquisite lob left Parry floundering to round off a quite unbelievable night for him and the Tigers in general.
Hyde moved up to second spot with this win and are now just three points behind Matlock with a game in hand, but on the night I suppose you just have to hand it to Neil Tolson!