Hyde United 1-2 Lancaster City
Late second half goals from Jacob Gregory and Oliver Crolla saw Phil Brown's Lancaser City side take home all the points in a difficult match on the 4G pitch at Ewen Fields.
Despite going behind to an early goal form Ayrton Bevins, City never once dropped their levels of effort and perseverance and a solid but unspectacular performance gave the platform for Lancaster to fight back.
There was an early set-back as after just six minutes Hyde opened the scoring. Full back Ryan Ellison cut inside from the right flank and played a ball between City’s central defenders to Bevins.
After Ricky Mercer got his studs caught on the surface Bevins was able to find space to hit a shot into the far corner off the post from just inside the box.
The 4G surface at Ewan Fields highlighted that artificial surfaces still have some way to match their grass counterparts.
The bounce of the ball was high and inconsistent, whilst a number of players were turning their ankles with Billy Akrigg limping off the pitch midway through the first half.
Despite the flat surface, both teams were opting to hit it long as passing football proved difficult which ensured a dull spectacle for supporters in between the goals.
Jordan Connerton had Lancaster’s only chance of the half but his strike from his weaker foot wasn’t hit cleanly and easily pushed wide by Dylan Forth in the Hyde goal.
Mike Hale was also on top form as he produced an excellent triple save from United forward Chris Amadi to keep the deficit at one heading into the interval.
The second half leant more in City’s favour, but they had to wait until 75 minutes to finally get a breakthrough against a well marshalled Hyde defence.
Jacob Gregory’s determination to carry the ball from the right flank into the middle of the Hyde defence via a one-two with Connerton sent the City winger towards goal.
His toe-poked effort beat the keeper and evaded a poor attempted clearance from Hyde winger Phil Dean to roll into the net to level the score.
Connerton had a great chance to give City the lead with ten minutes remaining but blazed his shot well over the bar when through on goal before substitute Oliver Crolla popped up to score his first goal of the season to win the game with nine minutes remaining.
Danny Shearwood did brilliantly to get around his man and fire a dangerous cross into the box that glanced off the head of Crolla and into a scramble.
The ball fell again to Crolla who picked out the corner with a first time shot to seal the points.
Lancaster City: Hale 8, Hudson 6 (Henry 65), Mercer 7, Westwood 6, Clark 6, Gregory 7, Akrigg (Shearwood 31), Wills 8, Robinson 5 (Crolla 45), Mayers 6, Connerton 6
Subs not used: Russell, Waters
Star man: Simon Wills.