From the famine, to the feast. Having had little action in knockout competitions following the August defeat to Irlam in the FA Cup, Tuesday night saw Cables play their third cup match in the space of a week on Tuesday night, this time against Evo-Stik League Premier Division side Hyde United in the Integro League Cup.
Could Cables defy the odds again and beat a second side from the division above in the space of three days? Saturday’s excellent victory away to Warrington Town combined with the quick turnaround in games had clearly taken its toll on Brian Richardson’s team, resulting in several changes to the Cables starting XI, including a debut for new signing Luke Griffiths.
Before the match there was an impeccably observed minute’s silence for the victims of the awful helicopter crash at the Leicester City stadium.
Once underway, the first chance of the match fell to Cables as James Edgar slipped the ball into Matthew Hamilton who tested the Hyde keeper with a low shot down to his left-hand side.
While the game continued to ebb and flow at a decent pace, chances were at a premium. Hyde looked the most likely to score, testing goalkeeper Kyle Haslam on a couple of occasions. However, the young Cables ‘keeper was equal to everything that was fired at him, making a particularly fine save high to his right in the 33rd minute.
As they had on Saturday, Cables absorbed the pressure and would be rewarded for their resilience with the lead at half time.
On 42 minutes, Valter Fernandes, playing at left back, found himself on the edge of the Hyde area, against the by-line, with time to bring the ball back onto his right foot and pick a pass to an amber shirt. Jordan Wynne, who was returning to the side after suspension, arrived in the box and was able to take a touch and fire the ball into the Hyde net, albeit via a slight deflection.
This was however not the end of the action for the half. As everyone was waiting for the half time whistle to blow, the ball was played up to Lloyd Dean who was subsequently fouled by Hyde’s captain, Matthew Hughes. The clearly frustrated centre back then decided that he wanted to discuss the matter further with Dean, placing the Cables man into a headlock and lashing out several times with his fist. Once the subsequent 20-man melee had subsided the referee was swift to dismiss Hughes and then, much to the bemusement of everybody in the ground, dismissed Dean also, both getting straight red cards. This seemed a strange decision, resulting in much scratching of heads at half time.
The visitors signalled their intention to get back into the game by making a triple substitution at the start of the second half and were nearly rewarded in the 48th minute when they missed a good chance to equalise. The ball falling to Hyde’s Janni Lipka following a punched clearance from Haslam and with the goal gaping, the ball was fired just wide of the ‘keeper’s post. This was a warning sign of things to come.
Cables responded with a chance of their own, Matty Hamilton scuffing a shot straight at visiting ‘keeper Hodges after good work on the right-hand side from Jordan Southworth.
Hyde were starting to get a stranglehold on the game and eventually equalised in the 66th minute. After breaking through the Cables defensive line and forcing a save from Kyle Haslam, Jerome Wright was able to casually finish into an empty net from what seemed to be a clearly offside position. However, the goal stood, and Cables had to regroup quickly, Jordan Wynne forcing a save from Hodges and then James Edgar causing all sorts of chaos in the area with a deft back heel after good work from Hamilton.
Hyde would not go away and were finishing the game strongly. The visitors had a goal ruled out for offside in the 81st minute, this time from a seemingly onside Wright. Eventually though, in the 87th minute Cables’ luck ran out. After James McCulloch and Fernandes had looked to have cleared the ball from danger twice with a couple of well-timed interceptions, the ball was played wide to the right. The cross was met by the head of one of the half time substitutes, Tom Greaves. It was a bullet header from no more than five yards out, giving Haslam in the Cables net no chance.
Cables were unable to force themselves back into the tie and Hyde were able to see the game out and move into the next round.