Match Report -
Round three . . . Knock-out!
By Debbie Taylor

Celtic managed to score so quickly in this game that I had not finished migrating to behind Edgington's goal when Parr rose to meet a corner and nodded the ball into the net. Although they have scored faster goals, it has rarely been in front of over a thousand fans, most of whom are trying to get around the far side of the ground! Hyde fell apart after the goal, for a period of about twenty minutes, and Celtic really should have punished them in this period. But despite tireless work by Sullivan down the right flank, the result was several corners and scrambled clearances.

Some of Hyde's challenges in this period bordered on criminal, and Sullivan felt the full force of a vicious one by Charles that saw him taken off the pitch for treatment. Taking advantage of the extra man, Hyde danger man Banim managed to squeeze behind Williamson and Ward to fire off a shot that ricocheted back off Locke on the six yard box and into Ingam's arms.

Minutes later Parr was involved in a (legal this time) heavy tackle that saw him carried off and replaced by Matt McNeil. The tall striker's first job was to get onto Sully's cross and slip it just the wrong side of the post.

The earlier attempt on goal, plus some more flowing football saw Hyde claw their way back into the game, and they forced a couple of corners from some stout defending by Williamson and Locke. However, the closest that they came was two feet over the bar as Charles failed to keep his header down.

Sullivan continued to cause the Hyde defence problems, whipping in several crosses, one saw Cooke head just past the upright. He was also in the thick of it from the resulting corners that he forced. An acrobatic overhead kick flashed across the six yard area, narrowly missing ricocheting in, and the ball saw up awkwardly at the edge of the box from a McNeil lay off, making him slice the ball wide and over.

Sullivan was closely marked by Charles for the majority of the game, unfairly on a number of occasions. From one of these free kicks, Bauress sailed a bending cross into the box that Crookes threw himself through the crowd at, connecting and diverting the ball into the net.

The second half was more of the same, plenty of midfield pressure from both sides, in which Pickford shone as he won his tackles and raced around the field. Bauress, Sullivan and Ward played with the Hyde defence, running them ragged as they passed it between themselves before Ward lobbed it into the box for Jones to head home.

Hyde had come out more organised, but were again hit by an earlier goal. This time they did not crumble. However, there resulting final ball into the Celtic box were generally very low quality, sailing over the bar, clearing the outside of the post by several feet, and rarely meeting a Hyde head. But the stout back four, even without the Bear forced them into the aerial attack, as any ground assaults met with strong resistance.

At the other end, McNeil, Sullivan and Cooke were having few problems (other than eager offside flags) with the Hyde defence. Cooke and McNeil both missed the target, and Sullivan missed one sitter, and had a one on one with the keeper, that saw a fine save from Edgington with his legs.

The moment of controversy waited until the final minute. The ball was forced for a throw in, which the Assistant Referee gave Celtic's way - but the Full Referee decided that although there were players between him and the sideline, that Hyde should have it. A long throw was then lobbed on into the box where Banim met it with a volley to beat Ingham.

Hyde have no been beaten three times this season by Celtic - twice at their own ground! They must be sick of the sight of Blue and White!

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