Tameside's 'Old Firm Clash' brought the biggest local league gate for years and the match, although not a classic, was entertaining. Celtic dominated possession throughout but still never really troubled Hyde keeper Graham Bennett. Overall, it was a defence dominated match and the number of clear-cut chances were few and far between.
Celtic opened strongly and had a penalty appeal turned down by referee David Whitby after only two minutes when Paul Taylor appeared to check Winfield Steele as he burst into the box.
Further chances arrived for both sides but neither could capitalise.Then, in the thirteenth minute, Peter Band fed Neil Hall with a beauty from the edge of the area and the Hyde skipper broke down the right to drill a superb low shot past Gary Ingham.
A similar situation then occurred two minutes later but this time Ingham got down well to turn away Rob Hulse's shot. At the other end, Martin Filson was causing Hyde plenty of problems with his sheer presence and, with Steele's pace too, the front two should have done better with the chances they created.
Hyde's best chances came at the end of the first half. Prolific striker Simon Yeo, probably the reason for the numerous scouts present at the game, shot wide and Paul Robertson curled a shot over before his free-kick was denied by the crossbar.
Sullivan replaced Bauress at half time and became an immediate nuisance with his pace and power. However, on the hour, Jones was taken off on a stretcher with a very serious looking groin injury and this disrupted Celtic's flow. Parr could have snatched one on 70 minutes as he burst through the middle but somehow it was scrambled away after several shots were blocked.
In my opinion, Hyde didn't particularly deserve the win and now us Celtic fans can look forward to gaining some serious revenge in the return match. Watch out you Tigers!!