Hyde escape Witton with a point
Witton Albion dominated the game for the large part but will be disappointed with a 1 – 1 draw. Top class saves from Peter Crook and a missed penalty meant it was honours even in the second game of the campaign.
After an impressive victory against Basford United in the season opener at home on Saturday, Hyde faced a tough challenge away to Witton Albion. Before the game Tigers manager Darren Kelly said: ‘Every game we play will be a different challenge because we don’t know a great deal about the level [of quality]’. The quality of the home side was clear from the start. They looked to get the ball forward quickly and showed good pace down the wing, particularly James Foley who put in a few dangerous balls into the box early on.
Witton’s first big chance of the game came 15 minutes in after Tom Owens shot from outside of the box was blocked by the Hyde defence and deflected behind after shouts of hand ball were waved off. From the resulting corner a towering header from Albion striker Will Jones was cleared off the line by Tom Pratt.
Hyde’s new centre back pairing were finding it tough dealing with the long ball game from Witton who nearly had some joy from it in the 25th minute. A long ball flicked on by the skipper Hopley was met by Billy Yates who dinked it to the back post, forcing a full length stretch from Peter Crook to keep it out.
The first and only time in the opening half where Witton Albions keeper was called into action came 5 minutes before the break. Porrit and Brownhill worked the ball well on the left wing leading to a dangerous looking cross but Greg Hall was able to come and claim it.
Hyde had a scary last few moments of the half and just couldn’t hang on to the ball. With lots of bodies up from the back for a Witton free kick, Will Jones found himself in a pocket of space in the Hyde penalty area and got his shot off but another brilliant save from Crook denied the home side from taking the lead before half time.
After the break, Hyde looked a different side and instantly made it count. A corner from the right hand side was whipped in and Chib Chilaka managed to rise above his man, heading the ball into the path of John McCombe who toe poked it past Greg Hall just three minutes into the second half.
Hyde’s good work at the start of the second half was nearly instantly undone when Foley was brought down in the box for a Witton penalty in the 50th minute. Foley, who scored from the spot against South Shields on Saturday looked confident from the spot but blasted it against the bar and Hyde cleared the danger.
Hyde looked a lot more dangerous in the second half and could have had a penalty of their own three minutes later. Luke Porritts low cross seemed to hit the arm of a Witton Albion defender but appeals were waved away.
Peter Crook was called upon again 15 minutes into the second half after some patient build up. Tom Owens was played in on the right channel and had a chance to bring things level but was denied by a good save down to Crooks left.
Witton Albion’s pressure finally proved too much to cope with for the Tigers. After a dubious decision to award a free kick against Hyde, Foley clipped in a great ball that was headed in by River Humphreys after 70 minutes.
Hyde escaped a scary moment five minutes before the end when a long punt forward from the Witton keeper was held up well by Hopley. He offloaded it to Strike partner Jones who teed off Foley, inviting him to bend one into the top right corner from the edge of the box but it hit the woodwork.
Witton Albion 1 – 1 Hyde United FC
Four points from a possible six is an impressive start to the new season for Hyde but the manager Darren Kelly is keen not to get carried away. He said: ‘I believe in the players and think they can achieve anything they set out to do… my personal thing is to not get too far ahead, I believe in the squad but for me it’s about tackling each game as it comes’.
Report by : Joe Chorlton