Spooner’s delight as triumphant Tigers secure silverware

MANAGER Nick Spooner has expressed his delight in winning the Cheshire Senior Cup for Hyde United’s dedicated fanbase.

The Tigers came out on top in a dramatic penalty shoot-out against a youthful Crewe Alexandra side in the final, held at the home of Witton Albion.

Jack Redshaw gave the Tameside outfit a 19th-minute lead, before Calum Aguis equalised for the League Two side.

Lewis Alessandra, recalled to the starting XI, restored Hyde’s advantage just before the interval but Jack Parry restored parity in the 72nd minute, to make it 2-2 and take the tie to penalties.

Hyde United lift the cup

Antoine Makoli converted the decisive spotkick as Hyde won the shoot-out 5-4. There were also successful penalties for the Tigers from Callum Spooner, Jack Redshaw, Harry Ditchfield and goalkeeper Jordan Eastham, who also saved one of Crewe’s penalties.

Hyde were backed by a healthy following who made the trip down the M56 on Tuesday night (April 16) and the manager was thrilled to reward their support by claiming the silverware.

“To the club’s supporters, you can see how much it means to them,” Spooner told the club’s media team.

“They really, really deserve that so it’s pleasing. The fans were unbelievable, they stayed to the end and enjoyed their night out. We’ve given them something to sing about. That’s what it’s about for the fans, to come out to a place, to enjoy the cup final and go home happy.”

After lamenting his side’s “poor, poor performance” in the 4-1 defeat at Gainsborough Trinity in their previous outing, Spooner wasn’t entirely satisfied with his players’ display in what was a topsy-turvy contest.

“I think, for the neutral, it was a good performance, I wasn’t happy with the performance,” admitted the Tigers boss.

“We played well in patches and, fair do, there were some young boys out there, it was a big night for Crewe and they stuck at it. We went in front and tested them and they showed their quality, then they came back. We got in front again and they came back.

“We were just too open, I think, at times. If I was to be critical of the performance, we played virtually a 4-2-4 so we had to have a word with the boys at half-time. On the break, we counter at pace and we’re dangerous, but then we’re wide open.”

Hyde had beaten Cheadle Heath Nomads 2-0, Alsager Town 3-1, Altrincham 2-0 and Cheadle Town 3-0 to reach the final and, after overcoming Crewe, secured Spooner’s first trophy in management.

“When I came in at the beginning, we just fell short in the Manchester Premier Cup so it’s really pleasing to get a trophy under my belt,” he added.

Hyde will be hoping to end their season on a high by securing three points against Matlock Town at the Project Solar Stadium on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

The fifth-placed Tigers, who occupy the final play-off position, are level on 64 points with sixth-placed Ashton United going into the match but the Robins have two games in hand.

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