HYDE UNITED 2, ASHTON UNITED 1
Goalscoring hero Liam Tongue praised Hyde United’s never-say-die spirit after they came from behind to snatch a derby victory against Ashton United at The Project Solar Stadium.
Tongue scored both of the Tigers’ goals as they climbed out of the Northern Premier League, premier division relegation places, halting a worrying slide into the bottom two after losing five of their previous six games.
It was a huge victory against form-side Ashton who had won their six previous games in league and cup as Hyde upset the form book.
The Hattersley-based Tongue said: “The win had been a long time coming and people were saying we had been in a rut and things had not been going our way.
“We had not been good enough in recent weeks but, in saying that, we had not been awful.
“This was the first time this season we have come back from a losing position. and we all won our individual battles which was pleasing.”
Tongue praised goalkeeper Joe Green for an important penalty save saying it gave Hyde a “spur”.
He explained: “We played especially well in the second half and on another day could have scored three, four or five goals.
“And when you look at the chances Ashton had, it was a case of us giving them.”
The 24-year-old admitted his opening goal was a cross, but there was no doubt about his second, a spectacular strike from distance.
The derby, played in front of a 686 crowd, was a slow burner and only sparked to life after Hyde conceded a 26th minute penalty when Green took out former Rochdale and Salford City striker Florian Yorsian when he was clean through on goal.
One time Manchester United junior Tom Bentham saw his spot kick well kept out by Green diving low to his left.
Bentham also had a glaring miss before breaking the deadlock in the 38th minute as he was free at the far post to sweep home a low Michael Brewster cross.
On another day, Bentham could and should have had a hat-trick which would have put Ashton out of sight.
Jim Gannon’s Hyde rode their luck and equalised in the third minute of stoppage time – only two had been signalled.
Will Hall was booked for a foul on Tom Pratt on the left and Tongue swung in a free kick to the far post which took a wicked bounce off the artificial surface and flew high past goalkeeper Oliver Martin.
Tongue had earlier had a couple of decent chances for Hyde with both flying narrowly wide.
Hyde, lifted by their equaliser, dominated the second period with Tongue scoring the winning goal midway through the half.
Lone striker Jonah Mitchell held up the ball well and set up Tongue who found the net with a screamer from several yards outside the box.
And in stoppage time Hyde were unlucky not to score a third goal.
A long, flat kick from Green released Tom Pratt from half-way as he burst clear only for Sam Baird to get back to make an important block to deny the Hyde captain.