SCARBOROUGH ATHLETIC FC 0 - 0 HYDE UNITED FC
It was a fantastic occasion, and the Scarborough directors, fans, players and everyone who has contributed to making today a reality can be very proud of the ground & facilities they have developed, allowing them to return home after 10 years away.
The game was a tough battle, fought out between two very strong sides, with lots of quality and a desire to do the occasion justice. It was clear neither side wanted to loose, which meant they rather cancelled each other out. Both teams are defensively sound, with physical centre half's winning everything in the air, and quick fullbacks who could match the opposition wingers. This meant the ball was fought over in midfield with both sides feeding off crumbs. Rubber crumbs as it happens. The only part of the new ground which lets it down is the pitch. You can see the difference between the superior quality of the GreenFields Turf pitch installed at Ewen Fields which plays like a high quality grass pitch, and the one at the Flamingo Land Stadium, which is a real pity.
Anyway, back to the game.
Scarborough started quickly, and looked to impose themselves on the game, but it was Hyde who edged the first half, and had the best chances, with three excellent opportunities to put quality crosses into the box in the final 10 minutes (two from the left and one from the right) but unfortunately the ball was overhit.
The second half was even tighter with no quarter asked or given. The referee did a decent job in controlling the physical side of the game, keeping his cards in his pocket as much as he could, with Tom Pratt on the receiving end of a few decent tackles and a generally tough day physically, but he worked his socks off and kept bouncing up. The referee did however miss a couple of key decisions and Pete Boyle, who really put a shift in, should have been awarded a penalty on 70 minutes when he was cleaned out as he ran into the box, but the referee gave nothing, and then evened things up 5 minutes later awarding a free kick to Scarborough just outside the box when Paddy Miller looked to have made contact just inside. Hyde stung the Scarborough keepers hands twice, but nothing more than that.
In truth, both managers will reflect on the point as a good start, but Hyde really were the only side to test the opposition keeper and they can feel a little less pleased with the result. It was clear 10 minutes into the game that the only person taking 3 points home would be me following a flash from a speed camera on the A64.
Hyde took around 100 fans to the game, three and a half hours from Ewen Fields, and this reflects the overall optimism around the club at the moment. Darren has assembled an outstanding squad, with most players who weren't included for the game, sat in the stand supporting their teammates.
With the curtain raiser out of the way, the boys will rest up and we can all look forward to our opening home game of the season against Prescot Cables on Tuesday, where we can pick up three points and start the campaign in earnest.
Updated 20:17 - 12 Aug 2017 by Mark Worthington