HYDE UNITED FC 0-0 SKELMERSDALE UNITED FC
Hyde stuttered in front of goal, and dropped points in a game they could and should have won conformably, but they retained their undefeated home record, and ultimately the coming fourteen days will decide the promotion order.
The opening 45 minutes were played at a frantic pace, with Skelmersdale looking lively in attack, with their forward three working well together and always a threat. It was Skelmersdale who had the first real opportunity, getting in behind Hyde down the left hand channel with a good run, and the ball was pulled back into the centre forcing an excellent save with his feet from Peter Crook in the Tigers goal.
Hyde worked hard without ever really looking in control, and forced two excellent saves from Paddy Miller and Tyron Gay headers, and also hit the bar with a rasping 25 yards drive from the excellent Max Leonard.
Further chances for Dominic Marie and Elliott Rock failed to find the back of the net and with the clock running down the Tigers were denied a stone wall penalty when Luke Porritt was cleaned out by two Skelmersdale players as got to the ball first running into the box, but the referee waved play on from 40 yards away, much to the surprise of everyone in the stadium.
The second half had a dominant Hyde creating several chances, with Skelmersdale sitting much deeper and defending as if their league survival depended on the result.
Headers from Tyrone Gay and Paddy Miller failed to have enough power to trouble the keeper, and one on one chances for Dominic Marie and substitute Dominic McHale were saved when you would have expected at least one of the them to hit the back of the net.
Max Leonard also forced a good stop with the keepers feet from a narrow angle, and Janni Lipka and Elliott Rokka also failed to hit the target with good opportunities inside the skelmersdale box.
The referee indicated a minimum of four minutes stoppage time, which puzzled everyone as their had been four second half substitutions and two stoppages of two minutes each for injuries to a Skelmersdale defender, who was dragged back onto the pitch by his own players to ensure that play was broken up, and the Hyde Captain Paddy Miller who received treatment for an eye injury.
The referee blew for full time as Hyde ran in to the box.
A disappointing result, but a good overall performance and another point towards the total.
The aim is promotion and it is now just within touching distance. Midweek games away at form sides Atherton Collieries (Monday) & Radcliffe Borough (Thursday) represent tough tests for the Tigers, but the squad have shown they are more than capable of picking up points on the road. Scarborough also have tough away fixtures at Colwyn Bay on Tuesday and Colne on Saturday. We will have a much better idea of final positions before we kick of away to Mossley on Saturday. It looks like 89 points would see the Tigers up with the best overall points per game ratio across all the step four divisions, but with 94 points still achievable, the Tigers have the opportunity to finish as runners up.
Updated 02:55 - 15 Apr 2018 by Mark Worthington