HYDE UNITED FC 1 - 0 RADCLIFFE BOROUGH
The starting eleven had nine changes from the side which last played in the league against Atherton Collieries, but the style and tempo of the play during the 90 minutes was much the same, and they ran out worthy winners on the night.
Radcliffe were looking to secure their first win for new manager Jon Macken. Jon has made several changes to the Radcliffe squad and back room team since taking over and he was looking to secure a win to get their season started meaning he had selected his strongest available starting eleven for the fixture.
Hyde started very brightly, playing at a high tempo, and with a high press forcing Radcliffe to play forward and to ultimately give possession to the Tigers. Hyde midfield three of Payne, Churchman & Stockdill were playing their first competitive fixture together, but they slotted in well and controlled the middle of the park with excellent movement and workrate. Infront they had a three of Boyle, Pratt and Brown who all looked lively, making excellent runs in behind which really should have resulted in three goals in the opening 45 minutes of the match. Boyle had an excellent chance when a fine cross from the right by Pratt evaded the keeper and defence finding him free on the edge of the 6 yard box, but the ball bounced up off the turf and he was unable to get his left foot half volley under the bar.
David Brown had an excellent chance one on one with the keeper, putting his lob just wide of the right hand post, and Tom Pratt also fired wide in the same position.
The second half followed the same script, with Radcliffe continuing to look to play out from the back, allowing Hyde to step up and press high, winning possession in the middle and attacking thirds and once again creating several chances.
Headers from Tyrone Gay & Harry Coates were well saved, and several long range efforts from Churchman and the excellent Stockdill were wide or over, but the threat was all from Hyde. Changes to personal were forced through knocks to Ellison & Pratt, with Porritt getting 30 minutes and a welcome return from injury for Chris Sutherland who was straight into the action beating his man on the outside before driving into the box and pulling the ball back to Stockdill who dragged his shot wide.
Radcliffe enjoyed a period of play in the middle of the half which allowed them up the field to create a few half chances, winning two corners and forcing an outstanding save in the Hyde goals by young keeper James Hodges, but with 70 minutes played the Tigers got their reward, breaking quickly with a ball played through the middle to the excellent David Brown who drove forward and played an unselfish square pass round the keeper to allow Luke Porritt to side foot home from 8 yards
FT 1-0 HYDE UNITED FC
An enjoyable game and some excellent football, which really should have seen the Tigers home with a three or four goal cushion, but the performance was more important for many of the players in the squad, allowing them to get some pitch time as we approach a very busy period of the season.
Jon Macken will also be able to take several positives from the game for his new look Radcliffe side, and we are sure he will start to see improved results as they develop.
Darren will be pleased to see Luke Porritt and Chris Sutherland back from injury and looking sharp, as he looks to the game on Saturday, and the opportunity to secure a place in the first round draw of The FA Cup.
Updated 06:44 - 11 Oct 2017 by Mark Worthington