The hosts came into the game on scintillating form having not been beaten in their last 10 games. Hyde came into the game on a little bit of a run themselves having strung together a couple of wins in their last three games. Both teams were looking to continue with their good form on a very foggy Saturday afternoon.
On a very uneven slopey pitch, it was Clitheroe who had the better of the opening exchanges with good chances falling to Dimitri Tuanzebe and Danny Brady but both could only direct their shots over the Hyde goal.
The match was very end to end stuff but neither team could create some sustained pressure as the first half came to a close.
The second half got off to a blistering start with both teams going full throttle. The first incident came on 48 minutes as James Burke went down in the box under a late challenge by a Clitheroe defender.
Both sets of fans and player’s went bezerk as the Hyde faithful thought it was a penalty, but Clitheroe thought it was a dive. The penalty wasn’t given and Clitheroe went down the other end and only for a last ditch tackle from Kyle Harrison and they themselves could have been in front.
The game continued to be a brilliant spectacle as both teams took it in turns to attack one another’s goal. As the clock struck 55 minutes, Clitheroe keeper Chris Thompson made an incredible triple save to keep Hyde united out. The first came from a pile driving strike from Laurie Bell which he could only palm out into the box. He then managed to come out and smother Pete Boyle’s effort before getting a low foot to the rebounded effort of Chris Sutherland.
10 minutes later it was the turn of Russ Saunders in the Hyde goal to keep it 0-0. He came out and made himself big on two occasions, the second with a brilliant save to keep out Tuanzebe with the help of Harrison clearing it off the line.
On 70 minutes, Clitheroe found the break through and it was a marvellous finish by Charlie Russell smashing his shot into the top corner. The ball found him on the edge of the box and he made no mistake with his finish.
Hyde responded by bringing on Jamal Branker and he immediately repaid his managers faith. Two minutes after coming on he whipped a great cross into the box and Big Khamsuk was arriving late to direct his header past the keeper and into the bottom corner.
With Hyde now back in the game, the tide was to swing again in the favour of Clitheroe. Three minutes after Hyde’s equaliser, ex Tiger’s striker George West got in down the right hand side and slid his shot across the keeper and into the net to end a hectic five minutes and restore Clitheroe’s lead.
As the fog started to set, Clitheroe sat back and tried to defend what they had. Hyde did have chances to equalise but couldn’t find a way by the impressive Thompson and Clitheroe held on to take all three points.
Hyde will now travel to Chester in the cup on Tuesday night looking to bounce back quickly and continue with their good performance’s trying not to let this result affect them too much.
By Thomas Gray