By Steven Oldham, Sports Correspondent
Ten-man Hyde FC hung on for a point in their first-ever Blue Square Premier game against Braintree Town despite playing the second half a man down.
The Tameside club drew 2-2 with their opponents after making a dream start, leading 2-0 at the break thanks to a double from Scott Spencer.
But the fairytale opening wasn’t to last with Andy Pearson receiving his marching orders at half time for violent conduct.
Braintree got back into the game with Kaine Shepperd netting a header, and Brad Quinton scored a late equaliser to deny Hyde a famous win.
Even though they couldn’t hold on for the victory, the manner in which Hyde played the game defied the many pundits who are predicting they will go straight back down to the Blue Square North.
Stockport County opened their BSP campaign with a 1-0 home win over Alfreton Town.
Danny Hattersley headed in the games’ only goal, continuing the former Lancaster City player’s good form following his mid season move last term.
Director of Football James Gannon handed competitive debuts to Alex Kenyon and Craig Hobson, with Jordan Fagbola also making his bow as a second half substitute.
Tomorrow night, Hyde host Barrow whilst County will look to avenge the infamous 7-0 drubbing handed to them in last season’s corresponding fixture against Grimsby Town.
Greater Manchester’s representatives in the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round had a mixed weekend, with Maine Road’s comprehensive 3-0 victory over Squire’s Gate being the highlight.
The North West Counties Football League Premier Division side are joined in the second round by Irlam FC, who won an eight-goal thriller against Hallam 5-3.
Abbey Hey are also through after an impressive 5-1 away win over St Helen’s Town, who play a level higher than the Gorton based team.
Both Stockport Sports – formerly Woodley Sports – and Cheadle Town will have to win replays to make it through after drawing 0-0 and 1-1 with Ashton Athletic and Maltby Main respectively.
There was disappointment for Wigan Robin Park who were eliminated after a 1-0 defeat at Padiham.
The coming weekend sees the start of the Blue Square North season. Altrincham host Brackley, whilst Droylsden play Boston United and Stalybridge Celtic travel to Workington.
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