HYDE UNITED 0, FLEETWOOD TOWN U23 1
It was a chance for trialists to catch the eye, but none impressed manager Dave McGurk as Hyde United were beaten at home by Fleetwood Town U23s.
Four trialists were named in the Tigers’ starting line-up but all were told after the game they would not be getting a deal for the 2021-22 season.
It was a makeshift Hyde side as only two, possibly three, of the starters are likely to be in the side for the opening match of the season at home to Atherton Collieries on August 14.
Hyde, who were without some injured players, had some of the regulars on the bench and the likes of captain Tom Pratt, Kyle Brownhill, Theo Bailey-Jones and Liam Tongue were given workouts later in the game.
On a sweltering hot evening, even unsuitable for cricket, the most summer of English sports.
It took almost half an hour for the match to spark to life when Fleetwood’s Jake Wallace fired narrowly wide.
Former Oldham Athletic and Huddersfield Town goalkeeper Joel Coleman then twice denied Tom Morris and a trialist, the latter a splendid block from inside the six-yard box.
Fleetwood carved open the Hyde defence on the stroke of half time but Danny Edwards pulled his angled shot wide.
Hyde had a great chance to take the lead early in the second half when trialist striker Connor Morris, recently released by Bradford City, glanced a header narrowly wide.
Fleetwood made the breakthrough with the match-winning goal midway through the second half when midfielder Ben Thompson cut in from the right and drove home a low shot inside the near post of goalkeeper Craig Ellison.
It was a sumptuous finish from the 18-year-old who recently signed a two-year pro deal, and the reserve goalkeeper could not be faulted.
Late in the game, Hyde substitute Brad Roscoe planted a close-range header wide from a corner, a great chance for an equaliser.
The only thing McGurk will have learned from the match is that his squad lacks strength in depth and the three or four new players he is seeking must be better than the trialists used against Fleetwood Town U23s.