Hyde head for promotion with point at Atherton
Tuesday 17th April 2018 @ 11:43 by Mark Phillip
Football Sports

Hyde United’s quest to secure automatic promotion was strengthened on Monday night as Darren Kelly’s side returned from Atherton Collieries with a 1-1 draw.

The Tigers entered the game having been held to a goalless draw by Skelmersdale United just two days earlier, while Atherton claimed a 3-2 victory over Ossett Town to cap off a fantastic week which saw Michael Clegg’s side book their place in the Integro Cup final.

It was never going to be a walk in the park for the Tigers, though they started the game brightly and took an early lead in the 12th minute through Max Leonard. The former Glossop North End, Curzon Ashton and Telford Utd man converted a penalty after a handball inside the box.

The referee was called into action in the 63rd minute – this time awarding Atherton a penalty. Ben Hardcastle converted the spot kick to bring his side level.

As the game was entering its dying stages, the referee was left with no choice but to send off Brad Cooke for a horrible challenge on Luke Porritt. Hyde were unable to capitalise on the one man advantage and were forced to settle for a point.

Following the game, chief executive Mark Worthington tweeted the following:

“Anyone can run round the track and finish the race but Daz kelly and Paddy Miller and the rest of the boys are trying to win it, not just finish it. Winning is always harder than turning up. Last night’s point puts us a step closer, six more guarantees promotion.”

The result left Hyde in third spot ahead of Tuesday’s other fixtures. Kelly’s side have won 24 games, picked up 83 points, and remain undefeated at home.

Due to a system restructure in the Evo-Stik League, the team that finishes in third position with the highest average points per game ratio will also claim promotion. As it currently stands, Hyde have the best ratio with 2.13 points, while Hartley Wintney, who have played one game less, trail in second spot with 2 points.

Hyde have a massive fixture this weekend with a short trip to Mossley.