Match Report


Pre-Season Friendly Match,
played on Monday, 26 July, 2004
at 7.45p.m.

  • Match:
  • Matchball:
  • Programme:


    Above, Gary Scott gets in a cross at Ewen Fields.

    An 84th equaliser from substitute Andy Waine deprived Alty of their 100% pre-season record but Hyde were good value for their draw. A well-taken goal by Peter Wright, after a good pass from Hardy, had put Alty ahead after 58 minutes but the Tigers' slick passing eventually got its reward with Waine's equaliser. A new face for Alty was substitute midfielder Joey Roberts, who was most recently at Wigan Athletic and Accrington.


  • 58 mins: Peter WRIGHT (Hyde United 0 Altrincham 1)
  • 84 mins: Andy WAIN (Hyde United 1 Altrincham 1)

    REFEREE: Mr J R Tyras (Holmfirth)


    This was Alty's fourth pre-season game (all away) after overcoming North West Counties' and UniBond First Division opposition at Abbey Hey, Trafford and Chorley. Hyde, of the UniBond Premier, beat our Conference North rivals Gainsborough Trinity 5-2 last Saturday so were going to be a tough test.


    Manager Graham Heathcote swapped Stephen Rose and Steve Aspinall positionally, with Rose moving to right-back and Aspinall going into central midfield. Chris Adams, injured on Saturday, watched the game, so Barry Shuttleworth started at left-back tonight. Gary Scott returned to the side, on the right flank, with Colin Little on the left. Mark Maddox took no part, other than in the warm-up, so Gary Talbot was again captain, partnered at the back by former Hyde player, Peter Band, who was the subject of good-natured barracking during the game. Sean Smith and Eddie Hussin were also involved in the warm-up but not named in the squad. Of the other players to have figured in pre-season so far, Steve Lunt, Mark Rawlinson and Gareth Feeney were all missing tonight. A new squad member was trialist midfielder Joey Roberts, who has been at Congleton (1996/97), Witton, Winsford (1999), Wigan Athletic and Accrington (2004)


    HYDE UNITED (Red shirts, with white trim, red shorts & socks): Full Team to follow, hopefully -it was read out just once, at great speed! 1. 2. 3. 4. Steven CLEGG, 5. Craig BUCKLEY, 6. John O'KANE (capt.), 7. 8. 9. Neil TOLSON, 10. Dale JOHNSON, 11. Matty McNEIL. Subs: 12. Kieran DELANEY, BARROWCLOUGH, WAINE, 17. O'BRIEN.

    ALTRINCHAM (Pale blue shirts, black shorts and black socks): 1. Richard ACTON, 2. Stephen ROSE, 3. Barry SHUTTLEWORTH, 4. Peter BAND, 5. Gary TALBOT (capt.), 6. Steve ASPINALL, 7. Gary SCOTT, 8. Ged KIELTY, 9. Niell HARDY, 10. Peter WRIGHT, 11. Colin LITTLE. Subs: 12. Marcus HALLOWS, 14. Kieran LUGSDEN, 15. Stuart WRIGHT, 16, Jamie BAGULEY, 16* Joey ROBERTS, 18. David HOLT


    After a cloudy day, bright sunshine appeared right on cue over Ewen Fields at kick-off time. Following an early, robust challenge on Acton by Hyde's former Alty man, Matty McNeil, it was the visitors who had the first shot of note. Following a mis-directed clearance by the Hyde keeper, Scott fed Hardy whose shot from the right went wide (4 mins). The game settled into a fairly even and entertaining pattern with both sides passing the ball well. Alty almost took the lead after eight minutes when a quickly taken freekick by Aspinall eventually came to Peter Band who lashed a shot against the inside of the keeper's left-hand upright from the edge of the box. This was followed seconds later by a shot across goal from Hardy, from the right, which went narrowly wide. This prompted an immediate reaction from Hyde, one of whose players lobbed Acton but the ball just cleared the bar (9 mins). One of many quick breakaways by Hyde, most of which went up the right flank, saw Tolson find Buckley whose shot went narrowly wide of Acton's left post (11 mins). Alty replied when Peter Wright did well and fed Little, but Hyde scrambled the ball away (12 mins). Alty were looking slightly the better side now but Hyde looked dangerous on the break. Scott and Hardy then combined well for Alty before Scott got in a good shot from a central position on the edge of the box, which the Hyde keeper did well to tip out for a corner on the Alty left (15 mins). Then the Hyde no.8 and Johnson combined well to win the Tigers a corner of their own (17 mins). Next, Acton made a good save from Tolson before Hyde won another corner as they began to enjoy plenty of possession and another surge up the right by Buckley forced Talbot to intervene to clear well (23 mins).

    As Hyde continued to press they almost took the lead when a move on the left saw the ball come out to their no. 8 who smashed a superb shot from 30 yards against Acton's crossbar. The rebound fell invitingly for McNeil, with Acton stranded, but the tall Hyde man contrived to head the ball over the top of the gaping goal (31 mins). Acton continued to be busy and after fielding Johnson's low effort, he had to race out of his box to chest clear and then pursue the ball all the way to the left touchline before he could kick it away (34 mins). Acton then had to make a good save from a Johnson shot a minute later. At last Alty got to the other end but from Aspinall's cross, Little, under pressure, could only head wide (36 mins).

    Moments later Wright fed Hardy, whose cross from the right skimmed off the head of Aspinall who had arrived in front of goal (36 mins). Hyde then won a free-kick on their left, which the no.8 took. O'Kane got on the end of it and his flicked header produced another excellent save from Acton but the whistle had gone for offside. Hyde's supremacy at this stage continued as Johnson got past Shuttleworth to give the no.7 a shot which was blocked. Acton was soon out to clear again but Buckley than shot well wide as Hyde failed to capitalise on their possession. Alty for their part were unable to hold the ball up front for long. After Acton had caught a Hyde cross well and swiftly fed Little, Alty won a throw and then advanced for Little to get in a shot but the keeper held his effort (45 mins).


    There were no changes of personnel at the interval. Aspinall's 30 yarder was the best shot of the opening period but the keeper held it at the second attempt (48 mins). The troublesome McNeil now drifted onto the right wing and when the no.2 crossed from that side, Acton was relieved to see it bounce off the top of his crossbar for a goal kick. Another move on the right involving McNeil and Johnson ended with a shot across goal from the no.8 (50 mins). A triple substitution by Hyde soon followed, with nos.12, 14 and an un-numbered sub appearing in place of nos.5, 7 and 9. (52 mins). A snap volley, wide, by Little was the only goal effort of note in the next few minutes (56 mins) but then Alty took the lead. Hardy did well to thread the ball, left, to Peter Wright who was attended by a couple of Hyde players. Wright evaded a challenge and before a follow-up could be made, he drove an early, low shot into the far bottom corner of the net to the keeper's left (58 mins). Fired up by this, after the re-start, Wright chased 40 yards to pursue the ball to win a throw-in.

    Hyde, for their part, continued to play fast, attacking football before Alty made a triple change; off came Hardy, Kielty and Peter Wright and on came Hallows, Holt and Stuart Wright (62 mins). Following a free-kick for a foul by Wright, Hyde won a corner which was cleared before a multiple passing move saw the no.8 slice his shot badly wide (68 mins). Acton then caught a header from Johnson but Holt responded at the other end with an effort that just cleared the bar following good work by Little.

    Alty made another change, Joey Roberts came on for Aspinall in central midfield (70 mins). Then an underhit Hyde backpass saw Little almost get the ball off the keeper whose hasty hack clear fell to Hallows, who shot over the bar from 20 yards (71 mins). Altrincham made another change with Kieran Lugsden replacing Little (72 mins) and a minute later Rose was replaced by Jamie Baguley (73 mins). The stop-start nature of the game continued as O'Brien came on for Hyde and Johnson left the field; the fourth substitution inside four minutes.

    A good ball from Shuttleworth set up a snap shot from Holt whose left-footed half-volley went only narrowly wide (80 mins). Shuttleworth soon initiated another Alty move but Lugsden was caught offside. With O'Brien and the no.14 advancing on the right a cross came to the back post where McNeil won the ball in the air and Waine headed the ball into the far corner of Acton's net for the equaliser (84 mins).

    McNeil caused further problems when Talbot did well to knock his header out for a corner (85 mins) A good run from the no.14 won another Hyde corner before Lugsden shook off two men but his dribble was halted. Baguley then fired in a wide effort from almost 40 yards before Roberts rounded an opponent and made good progress up the left before feeding Lugsden who screwed his shot wide (88 mins). From Lugsden’s feed, soon afterwards, Hallows shot from 35 yards but the keeper saved it. The end to end play continued with the final goal effort coming from McNeil who shot narrowly wide in the closing seconds.

    This was an entertaining game and Alty's toughest test of the pre-season to date. Hyde look to be heading for a promising season under Steve Waywell. Meanwhile, Altrincham continue to experiment with different permutations as Graham Heathcote seeks both to compensate for the loss of surging midfielder Ian Craney to Accrington and to find his best strike pairing. With Maddox, Talbot and Shuttleworth all suspended for varying periods at the start of the season, he has also had to try out different back-four combinations. His next test will come at resurgent Bamber Bridge on Thursday night. They beat Droylsden last Saturday and with a new chairman at the helm, they are hoping to emulate their previous spell in the UniBond Premier which saw them win the league title in 1996.