Amidst wild scenes by Hyde United fans celebrating their promotion on the Seel Park pitch, there was quietly in the background a feeling of anger and disbelief amongst the Mossley fans, players and management about the nature of the stoppage time defeat that gifted Hyde the points with Mossley's vitriol aimed firmly at match referee Mr Hitchell, and with good reason.
Mossley had put in a terrific hard working performance against their lofty opponents and were deservedly level as the game entered a signaled minimum four minutes stoppage time. That four minutes had stretched to five when Hyde forced one last attack which saw two hand balls by Hyde players in the build up to winning a corner. Hyde captain Paddy Miller rifled home a header from that resulting corner five minutes and 30 seconds over the 90 minutes, much to the Lilywhites disdain.
Where did the referee get the extra minutes from? Nobody knows, as the official disappointingly refused to answer questions after the game.
I appreciate that this report may seem like sour grapes from a Mossley perspective but the circumstances that led to the Hyde victory could not be ignored.
It wasn't the first controversial decision of the afternoon as with around twenty minutes left on the clock Hyde left back Kyle Brownhill somehow avoided a second yellow card having already been booked for an almost identical late challenge earlier in the game.
It was a very different story in the first half, as, after falling behind as early as the 7th minute Mossley gave a rousing performance in creating plenty of chances but finding Hyde keeper Peter Crook in great form.
Hyde scored that early opener after winning a 'soft' free kick some 25 yards from goal. Big Khamsuk's set piece effort was brilliantly tipped onto the post by Mossley keeper Jonny Diba Musangu, Dominic Marie headed the rebound against the bar but the ball dropped kindly for Elliot Rokka to nod home from what looked a suspiciously off-side position.
Mossley rallied brilliantly. Jack Tuohy, Mason Duffy and Liam Ellis were all denied by Crook, Mike Fish was likewise twice denied before the Mossley number 9 finally got his reward on 26 minutes as he rose to head home Jack Tuohy's right wing free kick awarded after Tom Dean had been fouled just outside the right angler of the box.
The second half saw Hyde try to press for a winner but it was Mossley who came closest when Jack Tuohy's volley was denied by a goal-line clearance. At the other end Diba Musangu was a rock for Mossley as he made good saves to deny Janni Lipka and Tyrone Gay.
As the clock rolled and the game had descended into something akin to head tennis with the dry pitch meaning a high bounce of the ball making creative football difficult for both sides.
The game appeared destined for the draw that was the least the Lilywhites deserved until that fateful stoppage time sequence led to Hyde securing a 2-1 victory and promotion.
No-one would deny Hyde their promotion as it was earned over the whole season but the result was extremely harsh on a Mossley side who had given everything in front of the second highest Seel Park crowd of the season of 445.
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