We re-boarded the coach and made the shortish trip along the M60 and M67 to Hyde.
Hyde 2 Tamworth 1 Blue Square Bet Premier Att: 657, Ewen Fields.
This time our coach arrived in good time allowing us a pint in the club house and a browse in the club shop which is located in the club house itself. It was a busy club house with friendly locals, who quickly got chatting to use once they noticed our groundhopping T-shirts. The big screen was showing Sky Sports News and there was something surreal about watching a TV presenter interviewing the club chairman right outside the building that we were stood in.
Once inside the ground, Manchester City’s influence on the club was very evident. A large Man City badge adorns the rear of the main stand and there is a definite lick of blue paint around the place, other than that, there is still a non-league feel about the place and without the re-livery you wouldn’t guess the association with one of the richest football clubs in the world.
As we entered the ground and looked to take our place on the flat terracing which exists between the covered seating and terraced areas, stretching down one side of the pitch, we were approached by a vaguely familiar face wearing a suit. It was Peter Stevenson from Sky Sports. He asked us if we were prepared to be interviewed for Sky Sports News. I am not a public speaker, so I probably mumbled and stuttered my way through the interview, but regardless it was used on Sky Sports News , although I never got to see it.
Once we settled, the game was starting to find its feet and Tamworth seemed to be in comfortable control. The Hyde fans were in extremely good voice urging their team on and performed a rendition of Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart. I don’t know if Ian Curtis or any of the other lads from the band were from Hyde, but regardless it pleased my musical taste.
However it was Lee Hendrie, now with more clubs to his name than a pro-golfer, that was the outstanding player of the first half. In fact it was his cheeky chip over the Hyde defence, that beat the offside trap and set up Marcus Kelly to put the visitors ahead.
After the break, the transformation from Hyde was immediately obvious and they then dominated. Whilst Hendrie bossed the first period, it was a veteran of the lower leagues, Phil Jevons that was Hyde’s man of the second half.
On 54 minutes Hyde’s pressure paid-off and Jevons struck a sweet first time ball from distance that sailed into the back of the net and left Tony Breeden in the Tamworth goal floundering.
On 75 minutes, Hyde were rewarded for their possession when they won a penalty. That man Jevons stepped up again and duly converted. That’s how the score remained until full time and was a decent conclusion to my first official groundhop, the Cheshire Groundhop of 2012.