Monday 12th April 2004
Northern Premier League First Division
Hyde United: Tim Mullock, Steven Clegg, John Gaynor (Wayne Dean), Paul Jones, Craig Buckley, John O'Kane, Nicky Hill, Phil Salt, Neil Tolson (Kieran Delaney), Dale Johnson, Matty McNeil. Subs not used: Carl Barrowclough.
Bridlington Town: Hill, Thompson, Taylor, Baker, Harper, Suddaby, Ingram, Heath, Palmer, Richards, Underwood. Subs: Burdick, Harrison, Lewis
Inspired second half substitutions by Steve Waywell (not for the first time) kept the Tigers' title aspirations on track in this toughest of games. The scoreline flattered the Tigers as Bridlington played especially well and probably deserved something from the game. To compound matters for them, keeper Chris Hill was unfortunately taken to hospital with a suspected broken leg trying to prevent Hyde's second goal. It is, of course, results that count now, but the Tigers certainly left it late and pulled something out of the fire when all seemed lost. The only disappointing factor was another poor crowd (especially as some Juniors had discounted tickets) on an evening when the only contra attractions were Fulham v. Blackburn pay per view and a gay kiss on Coronation Street.
Hyde welcomed back some of the walking wounded and took the initiative from the start and took the lead on 13 minutes when Craig Buckley put a good ball into the area for Dale Johnson to side foot home. His 5th goal in nine matches. The Tigers could have had more, but it was Tim Mullock on 35 minutes who produced a great save to prevent Jamie Richards equalising. Right on half time, Johnson was through on goal, but his shot was inches wide.
Bridlington came back strongly in the second half and David Ingram equalised on 50 minutes after the Hyde defence had allowed the impressive Paul Palmer to turn. It was now Brid's turn to take the initiative and the Tigers had to defend strongly helped by a couple of excellent saves from Mullock.
Wayne Dean was introduced on the right to replace John Gaynor, who had been caught by an arm, and he was the first of Steve's inspirations. He immediately started running at the defence and causing havoc everytime he got the ball. He combined well with Matty McNeil on 70 minutes and between them, they were unlucky not to score, as was Steven Clegg with the follow-up. With time running out, Kieran Delaney was introduced for Neil Tolson (inspiration No.2) and he, too, began causing problems for the now overworked Brid defence.
With just six minutes left, Mc Neil superbly jinked past Andy Taylor on the right, headed for goal and put in an inch perfect pass into the path of Dean who managed to find the net with the help of a deflection. The 'keeper was injured in the process and sadly left the field on a stretcher. Brid's resistance was broken at last. Delaney burst through to hit a post and then seconds later with the defence in turmoil, he linked up well with Johnson to shoot into an empty net. All's well that ends well, but the Tigers had certainly left it late.
With Matlock winning too, it is down to the last two games, with Farsley waiting in the wings for any slip-ups. Hyde have got to hope that Brid show the same passion on Saturday and beat Matlock, whilst we have to beat Rossendale. As we have said for weeks, there will still be some more twists and turns to come!