STOCKPORT TOWN 1-1 HYDE UNITED FC
(4-3 Penalty Kicks)
Darren Kelly made 10 changes to the team which started against Clitheroe on Saturday, but this does not detract from the achievement of Stockport Town who were excellent on the night in a game which was probably one of their biggest since they were formed.
Hyde set up in a 4-4-2 with a mixture of experience and Academy youth through the side.
The opening 45 minutes were fairly even in terms of chances, with Hyde looking to play football with the ball on the ground, and Stockport playing with a high intensity and determination to achieve. Hyde created a number of good chances, with Matthew Beadle and Karl Jones both failing to hit the back of the net twice in the opening 30 minutes. Stockport also created a number of good chances and the excellent Ben Halfacre who led the side from the front was central to this, working hard, holding the ball up well, and allowing his side to develop play in the attacking third. It was Ben who capitalised on some sloppy defending on 32 minutes picking up a ball which should have been cleared, just inside the Hyde box before calmly lashing it home from 8 yards. 1-0 Stockport Town
The second half was really all about Hyde possession. Matthew Beadle worked hard up top, and the Hyde Midfield took control of the centre of the pitch allowing the fullbacks to get forward and more involved in the game. Hyde had 70% possession in the half, but Stockport also carved out two excellent chances with Ben Halfacre and the lively Justin Pickering both running clear though the middle, but puling their shots wide when 1 on 1 with James Hodges in the Hyde goal.
Eventually the Hyde pressure started to open up the Stockport back four and midfield, who had worked their socks off, and a smart interception by Chris Churchman in the centre circle allowed him to move forward and play a decisive pass to Matthew Beadle 5 yards outside the Town box, and he showed his excellent technique sitting two Stockport players down before smashing the ball left footed past the Town keeper from 12 yards. 1-1
Town were out on their feet, but stayed organised and pushed themselves through to the 90 minutes.
Neither side was able to make an impression in the 10 minutes of extra time, and Stockport held their nerve to come back from having their first penalty saved, to score the next four and progress into the semi finals 4-3 on penalty kicks.
Overall Hyde can be pleased with the football they played and the quality pitch time for players who have not featured over the past few weeks like Matthew Beadle, Harry Coates, Chris Churchman and Kyle Brownhill. Darren will also be very pleased with the 30 minutes from Chris Sutherland who made a return following a long term injury, and his cameo reminded everyone of what an explosive and exciting player he is. This is a major bonus for the run in to the end of the season along with the 90 minutes and goal from Beadle.
Finally a mention for Academy players Louis Holt and Marcus Haydock who were both outstanding on the night and their performances point to a bright future for Hyde United FC. Louis showed what a prospect he is at centre half up against a very experienced and physical Ben Halfacre. Marcus looked compact and confident playing at right fullback against the two quickest players on the pitch for Stockport and he gets my vote as MOM
Well done & Good Luck to Stockport Town FC in the semi finals.
Updated 11:12 - 6 Feb 2018 by Mark Worthington