Monday 27th September 2004
Northern Premier League Premier Division
Hyde United: Tim Mullock, Steven Clegg, Nicky Hill, Paul Jones, Jamie Milligan, Lee Brough (Phil Salt), John Gaynor, Chris Lynch, Neil Tolson (Carl Barrowclough), Dale Johnson, Matty McNeil. Subs not used: Craig Buckley.
Radcliffe FC: Hurst, Duffy, Battersby, Kelly, heald, Hill, Wilson, Carden, Denny, Foster, Price. Subs: Kilheeney, Patterson, Sampson
A scintillating second half performance from the Tigers ensured three more points towards their championship challenge and took their unbeaten run to twelve games. Once again it was a Steve Waywell substitution which changed the course of the game after he replaced a disappointing Neil Tolson with the pace of Carl Barrowclough at half time.
The first half had been pretty even with Jamie Milligan twice going close for Hyde, with his first effort striking Tolson when goalbound and his second attempt striking the foot of 'keeper Danny Hurst. Radcliffe too, had some chances, with Steve Foster going close.
There was an explosive start to the second half as first Barrowclough had a great run for Hyde and then Andy Heald struck the base of the post for Radcliffe. Hyde now started to play some great football and were rewarded when John Gaynor shot home within six minutes of the restart.. Phil Salt was then introduced for his first game of the season and all of a sudden Hyde were playing champagne football.
Radcliffe collapsed under the pressure and Matty McNeil added a second when he outjumped Hurst. Hurst claimed a foul, but the ref, who had a decent game, would have none of it. Matty added a third with twelve minutes left as he rifled home a through ball for a spectacular goal. It was now all Hyde with Dale Johnson having a superb game up-front and Salt beginning to weave his magic in midfield. Paul Jones and Steven Clegg were rocks at the back, despite missing John O'Kane with an ankle injury. Gaynor covered every inch of the sodden pitch first as a midfielder and then as a full back and fully deserved his rare goal. All of the chances fell to Milligan and on another day, he could have had a hat-trick.
The Atherton Manager in the crowd was given plenty to think about and would be wondering on the way home, which Hyde would turn up on Saturday. If it was the second half team he will certainly be having sleepless nights.