The highest crowd of the season saw a tightly contested boxing day derby, as Stalybridge Celtic took all the points back over to Bower Fold, defeating the tigers 2-1.
The visitors dominated the first half, pressing Hyde high and forcing errors, the home side just weren’t able to gain any foothold in the game. The opener looked like was going to come and some point and it did on the 10-minute mark as Celtic worked the ball into the box, finding Ustabasi towards the left hand side who fired home to give the visitors the lead.
They then didn’t relent finding opportunity after opportunity testing Mewitt’s goal, to the somewhat surprise to the Hyde supporters. Before the break the lead was doubled when Scott Bakkor found the goal on 34 minutes after a bit of a mix up in the Hyde defence.
The tigers, to their credit, regrouped at half time and the game seemed to flip completely on its head. A stunning strike by Starcenko from around 40 yards got Hyde onto the scoresheet, with Fojtcek in goal having no chance.
From there, the chances were mostly going the way of Hyde, but Stalybridge did get opportunities with Osei to put the game to bed, somehow missing the goal at the far post.
After Ustabasi was sent off for two bookable offences, Tongue and Pratt both thought they had got the equaliser but a fantastic stop from Fojtcek and the woodwork denied any share of the points.
By George Rothwell