HYDE UNITED 3, SCARBOROUGH ATHLETIC 2
Manager Jim Gannon hailed “inspirational” captain Tom Pratt as Hyde United halted their slide down the Northern Premier League’s premier division.
Pratt scored a hat-trick, each a memorable strike, as the Tigers beat Scarborough Athletic to post a first victory in seven league matches.
Gannon said: “It was an inspirational performance from Tom who showed tremendous leadership. It was a captain’s performance.
“Tom showed the quality he has, especially with the third goal as he and Krisel Prifti showed they are on the same wavelength from the free kick.”
Hyde, still without eight injured players, again fielded a patched-up side that included two new signings, defensive midfielder debutant Edward Elewa-Ipakwu who had been secured from Lancaster City and former Stalybridge Celtic player Krisel Prifti who was on the bench.
There was one minute’s applause before kick-off to mark the first anniversary of the death of legendary former Hyde manager Gary Lowe.
The Tigers, who had a morale-boosting win at Glossop in midweek in the Manchester Premier Cup, made a great start as they went ahead in the 11th minute.
It followed a break in which Liam Tongue released Pratt who looped a shot over giant goalkeeper Ryan Whitley.
Scarborough, managed by former Manchester United player Jonathan Greening, equalised in the 26th minute when Hyde failed to clear their defensive lines and Luca Colville rifled home a low drive from the edge of the box.
Pratt was denied a second goal by a brilliant block by Whitley when he burst through on goal.
And Scarborough could have finished the opening half ahead when Bradley Plant struck the underside of the crossbar as Hyde lived dangerously.
Hyde regained the lead in the 52nd minute through a spectacular effort from Pratt who cut in from the left and bent an effort into the far top corner.
And it got better mid-half when Hyde added a third goal after a piece of quick thinking.
Prifti, who had replaced injured left back Ciaran Summers, fired over a low free kick from the right and Pratt stole ahead of his marker to slot home at the near post.
Scarborough reduced the deficit in the 73rd minute when big centre back Will Thornton was left unmarked at the far post to head home a corner.
And it might have got even worse two minutes from time when Hyde were saved by rookie Italian goalkeeper Riccardo Longata who made a superb save to deny Lewis Maloney.
With players due to return from injury and other potential signings in the pipeline, Gannon added he can see “light at the end of the tunnel” after an extremely challenging period.