started the game with great early pressure, camping in the Hyde half of
the pitch. Good crisscrossing, one touch and flick passing eventually
brought the ball closer to the goal. In the first ten minutes Celtic could
have gone three up, had a little bit of luck been on their side.
Fitzgerald, Potts and German all put well flighted crosses into the danger
area, but first Hallows and then Eastwood could only send the ball around
the outside of the frame. Parr was more unlucky as Potts' ball zipped in
to the back post. As Hallows ducked to Parr's shout, Kev launched himself
onto the ball, and would have buried it, had a Hyde body not been on the
line to deflect it around the post for a corner - except, in a
foretaste of things to come, it went for a goal kick.
Hyde gained a
measure of composure after quarter of an hour, with the back four playing
it among themselves, whilst Celtic were content to let them. This was a
prelude to a patient build up, and eventually, Maddin broke free, and
found himself with only Timons to beat. After turning inside the Ilkeston
man, Maddin's shot was a poor affair, scuffed rather than connected, and
it dribbled wide.
The Hyde back
line continued to defend well, showing where Nolan has concentrated his
efforts over the close season. Only a great block by Dominic Crookes
denied Eastwood the opener on 21 minutes, when Hallows laid him off at the
edge of the box. The well struck shot was blocked by the ex-Celtic
defender (who was wearing a number 14 shirt with the 1 coloured in
yellow!). The ball careered out to Potts who again fed the ex-Southport
front man, who cleverly made space before unleashing a power-dive that
Swannick put around for a corner. Though the corner was poorly taken to
the near post, it eventually came back to Potts, and Crookes (the keeper)
The game then
degenerated into a scrappy midfield tussle that only began to ease in the
last five minutes of the half when German's excellent ball was met by the
head of Hallows, nodding down to the right of the keeper who was going
left. Peter Crookes somehow managed to stretch out a leg and save the day.
half started scrappy, and got bitty as the referee was forced to start
reaching for cards to break up the feisty antics by both teams. But it was
Celtic that emerged in the ascendancy, winning a couple of corners and
then a free kick 35 yards out. Potts lofted the ball over the top of the
two man wall, right to Eastwood's feet. Eastwood's turn a shot was
fantastically executed, and looked like a training ground move. Unluckily
it struck the bar. More unluckily as Peter Crookes flapped at the ball,
Dominic Crookes reacted quickest to clear the ball from under Eastwood's
A moment of
controversy ensued that saw Hyde take the lead. A whipped in ball from
Maddin struck Riding's arm, and earned the visitors a penalty kick. It was
a harsh decision, and on the hour, Foster stroked the ball to the right of
Dootson, who had guessed the direction, but not the height.
controversy was to follow. While waiting for a Hyde free kick to be taken,
Foster emulated the Vinnie Jones / Paul Gascoigne incident. Riding's
kicked out at Foster, and in the manner of these things, was spotted, and
summarily dismissed. Again, a harsh decision by the referee, who could
have had him substituted instead. Especially as Parr and Potts had both
done crashing tackles, whilst several Hyde players had been guilty of
'ungentlemanly conduct' (i.e. kicking a man while he's down - literally).
the player down, Celtic showed great team spirit and returned to the
ascendancy, pressuring for an equaliser. Both Timons and Hallows went
narrowly wide from corners, and it only looked a matter of time. That
said, as 90 minutes approached, it looked like the gods would not smile,
until Potts won a corner off Swannick.Wharton took it, finding Denham (on
for Hallows to inject some pace) on the far side of the box. Denham was
immediately fouled - as he had been every time he got the ball. This time,
a free kick was awarded, and Potts floated it in. Eastwood stretched out a
leg, and steered it past Peter Crookes flailing arm. This time, his leg
was too far away to deny Celtic a goal.
On so on to
Penalties, as there was no extra time to be played in this
stepped up first, still buoyed by his goal minutes earlier that had given
Celtic this chance. He struck it will, sending Crookes the wrong way.
the ball, and performed a little dance on the way to the spot, it didn't
flummox Dootson, who went the right way, but it did earn the Hyde striker
hoots of derision when he missed!
no time by blasting the ball past Crookes, before Evans instilled a
measure of hope in the Hyde hearts, by slipping it just under Dootson's
body as the Celtic number one flew through the air.
for sheer power, which was fortunate, as Crookes put a hand on the ball as
it went into the net.
the ball into the top of the net, which proved so effective, that Mayers
emulated him to put all the pressure onto new signing Brookes.
looked nervous on his run up to the ball, and he went well wide, with
Dootson again, for the fifth corner in a row, guessing the right way.
miss, Celtic retained the Ray Stanley Memorial Shield for the second year
running. A sign of wins to come?
was the Riding sending off. He will now miss the first four games of the