HYDE UNITED 2, GRIMSBY TOWN 0
Hyde United are beginning to look the real deal following their eye-catching pre-season friendly win against Grimsby Town.
A stunning volley from Liam Tongue and well-executed strike from Liam Hardy helped the Tigers overcome opponents who were relegated from the EFL less than three months ago.
It was a new-look Mariners with half of the side which started at Ewen Fields likely to feature in their opening National League game.
“We are getting close to the season and are probably 75%-80% there. We have two further games and a fortnight to get to 100%,” explained manager Dave McGurk.
Hyde had two new players in their starting line up and another on the bench.
They have signed forward Nyal Blake, 22, a former professional Mansfield Town for whom he scored on his league debut, from Frickley Athletic.
McGurk said: “I tried to sign Nyal two seasons ago when he was playing for Alfreton Town.
“He has always been on the radar and, when he played for Frickley against us last season, he was the best player on the pitch.”
Right back Jack Evans, who was recently released by Accrington Stanley, also started. He has also been training with National League North side Curzon Ashton and there is a chance he may sign for both clubs on dual forms.
The other player was trialist Jason Akiotu who made a cameo appearance from the bench. He was at Crystal Palace as a youngster.
They will help offset the loss of central defender Andy Hollins who has been offered a deal by National League North side Guiseley and winger Chinedu Uche who in training with Matlock Town with McGurk explaining the door is open for both to return if they wish.
Grimsby almost took an early lead when teenage striker Luis Adland struck the frame of the goal.
But it was Hyde took the lead in the 12th minute through a super strike from Tonge, a sweetly struck volley on the run from a Kingsley James cross, a goal McGurk described as fit to grace a far higher level.
Tonge wasted another glorious chance before Hyde doubled their lead in the 34th minute when striker Hardy latched on to a long ball, twisted and turned a defender before sweeping home a low shot.
Blake ought to have found the net minutes later when he was free at the far post to meeting a cross but inexplicably fired over.
The second half saw Tonge have an effort pushed round the post by goalkeeper Ollie Battersby while Luke Spokes shot over for the Mariners.