Hyde welcomed Runcorn Linnets to a bitterly cold Ewen Fields in the last 16 of the Integro League Cup with a few forced changes in the line-up due to injuries.
The visitors started confidently, showing why they are sitting top of the Evo Stik West, with some good spells of possession. However, the first chance came to Hyde with an excellent Lipka free kick which was looped onto the crossbar by the head of Fagbola. Despite Runcorn’s possession it didn’t result in many clear cut chances.
Bookings for Jerome Wright and Hinnigan for the visitors made the game scrappy helped by the referee who was happy to have breaks in play for any form of contact.
The opening goal came to the Tigers on 33 minutes as Scott took down Platt inside the box, Connor Simpson converting the resulting penalty sending the keeper the wrong way.
Once again, chances were limited in the opening 15 minutes of the second half so both teams made changes. Potter and Gibson replaced the hardworking Wellstead and Sherlock for Runcorn and O’Connor and Pratt replacing Dapo and Platt for Hyde.
The visitors’ substitutes seemed to give them more energy and it was on 71 minutes where they drew level with what can only be described as a questionable penalty decision. Morris surged through and found himself in the box, going down under pressure from Fagbola. Corrigan stepped up to the spot and just beat the fingertips of Hodges.
Runcorn increased the tempo further and nearly went ahead with 10 minutes to go. James Hodges, fresh from first team experience at Tadcaster, was called into action for one of the first times in the game forcing good saves from both Gibson and Potter. Hyde also had a big chance in added time with an inviting cross from O’Connor but only a Runcorn head could see it out.
A penalty shootout followed with Runcorn winning 4-1.