Tuesday 8th February 2005
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Wakefield-Emley: Cuss, Tonks, Staniforth, Tansley, Wood, Curtis, Wright, Fox, Pell, Muller, Kenworthy. Subs: Jones, Benn, Lindley
Hyde United: Tim Mullock, Kieran Delaney (Wayne Dean), Nicky Hill, Alex Mortimer, John Gaynor, John O'Kane, Chris Lynch, Phil Salt, Neil Tolson, Dale Johnson, Matty McNeil (Carl Barrowclough (Gerry Harrison))
A superb hat trick from Dale Johnson secured a point for the Tigers in a game where they twice trailed by two goals despite having plenty of possession. It was once again defensive frailties, which gave Hyde an uphill task in a game they should have won by some margin. Having said that they were two goals down with just ten minutes left and to get a point showed the true spirit in the side.
Hyde, who had new signing Gerry Harrison on the bench, started well and had a couple of early chances, before Wakefield took the lead on 12 minutes with their first attack. Kieran Delaney headed against his own crossbar and leading scorer, Adam Muller was on hand to score the rebound. Five minutes later, Hyde were two down as Lennie Curtis lashed the ball home from the edge of the area after more defensive mayhem. Whilst Hyde started to have some controlled possession and create some chances of their own, Wakefield looked like they would score with every attack.
In the second half, Hyde started strongly and pulled one back as Johnson scored from close range after 53 minutes, but all their hard work was no avail as a minute later more comedy in the Hyde defence allowed Rob Pell to give Wakefield a two goal cushion again.
Wayne Dean and Wayne Barrowclough were introduced and slowly but surely the Tigers clawed their way back with some excellent football prompted by Phil Salt from Midfield and aided by John Gaynor's phenomenal work rate. With Johnson causing havoc in the Wakefield defence every time he got the ball, Hyde scented there might be something for them in the game.
With just 10 minutes left Johnson grabbed his second and a minute later headed in at the far post to bring Hyde level in game, which had seemed long gone. A couple more half chances and the Tigers could have clinched an unlikely victory. Hyde are desperately missing Paul Jones at the back and may have to sign a replacement to keep Workington in check.
The fans were happy by the finish but it had been a tortuous ninety minutes, but the night really belonged to Johnson as he built on his first brace last week to score his first hat trick with a brilliant all round performance.