HYDE UNITED 0, LANCASTER CITY 1
New manager Jim Gannon admitted the job he inherited at Hyde United is much tougher than he envisaged.
Gannon was speaking after an unlucky home defeat to Lancaster City as his first seven matches have yielded two wins, one draw and four defeats.
There was no doubting the spirit and endeavour of Gannon’s young side as seven products of the Tigers’ youth system featured – four started with three further ones on the bench – but the squad is lacking depth and experience, something he is seeking to address.
Gannon certainly has had to handle adversity in his short spell at The Project Solar Station with players leaving and injuries which has left his squad threadbare.
Take the build up to the Lancaster game as an example, Theo Bailey-Jones left for rivals Stafford Rangers who offered him a pay increase, striker Liam Hardy departed because of his lengthy commute, Janni Lipka because of ongoing injury problems while James Jones returned to Alfreton Town after a loan spell.
Gannon had already lost midfield powerhouse Kingsley James and centre back Tom Morris since taking over.
The first baby steps of the rebuild came in the form of striker Jack Dyche returning to the club on dual forms from Curzon Ashton and the signing of Ciaran Summers, a left sided defender who had relocated from Scotland for work.
And Gannon also revealed he had put in seven days’ notice to approach several potential signings as the rebuild takes place.
Gannon also promoted Aiden Butterworth and Hamid Addai from the youth set up to the first team squad.
There two debutants, both from the youth system, as Italian Riccardo Longata, 20, made his first appearance in goal replacing the injured Joe Green while Stockport’s Henry Carne, 17, was also blooded at right back.
Longata looked at ease with decent saves from Sam Bailey and Paul Dawson early in the match.
Hyde finished the opening half strongly as Tom Pratt struck the upright, Liam Tongue had an effort blocked after Hyde were awarded a free kick seven yards from goal following a perceived back pass while Kyle Brownhill’s slalom run set up Pratt who fired into the side netting.
Lancaster came close to taking a 73rd minute lead when former Hyde player Andy Teague’s header from a corner struck the underside of the bar and somehow stayed out.
The rebound fell invitingly to Dawson. but Longata pulled off a great stop from point-blank range.
And moments later Longata excelled again with another fine save to deny Dawson whose effort was arrowing towards the bottom corner.
Hyde almost made the all-important breakthrough with 10 minutes left when Pratt broke and released Tongue whose shot was superbly turned over by goalkeeper Aidan Dowling who was making his debut on loan from Blackburn Rovers.
And from the resulting corner, substitute Carter Waters saw a terrific drive flash just wide of the upright.
Teague and Bailey had further chances for Lancaster who snatched victory through an 86th minute goal from substitute Tom Kilifin.
A momentary lapse from the reliable Jordan Fagbola proved costly as Kilifin cut in from the right and fired home with the suggestion of a deflection as Longato was finally beaten.
It left Gannon frustrated as he said: “It was a disappointing result and not fair in the context of the game.
“There were so many good performances and passages of play and we deserved more.”
Gannon described the debuts of Longata and Carne as “huge positives” adding they need short and long-term replacements to improve the strength and depth of the squad.