HYDE UNITED 1, NANTWICH TOWN 0
A move perfected on the training pitch helped Hyde United beat Nantwich Town in their bottom-of-the-table premier division clash in the Northern Premier League.
Right back Brad Roscoe flashed home a spectacular headed goal from Liam Tongue’s corner midway through the second half.
It was the decisive moment in the match as they victory lifts the Tigers out of the bottom two and up five places to 16th.
But while Roscoe received the plaudits, goalkeeper Joe Green equally deserved praise as his contribution was equally important.
As the Dabbers pressed for an equaliser, Green pulled off a superb double save and another important stop to preserve a clean sheet and ensure Hyde secured a third straight home league victory.
It was the perfect pick-me-up for manager Jim Gannon who was self-isolating at home after being struck down with Covid-19.
Gannon was tuned to the club’s radio commentary and at the end of the match sent a congratulatory text to stand-in manager Martin Coyne.
Coyne, who has been on the coaching staff for the last three years, stepped up to create a piece of history as he followed in the footsteps of father Ged who had also managed Hyde in the 1990s.
“I am sure that will make a good quiz question as some point in the future,” he said.
Coyne, whose uncle Peter also played for the Tigers as well as one first-team game for Manchester United in which he scored, said: “I’m over the moon. Well done to the lads, they were superb. The effort put in by the players during the week was brilliant.
“And the winning goal was straight from the training ground and something we had worked in during the week which was pleasing.
“Nantwich are a quality team and had some great results recently against Buxton and Whitby. (They drew at Buxton and won at Whitby in their two previous matches).
“The conditions were terrible for both teams. We knew it would be a battle and it would be down to who wanted it more.”
There was a howling gale and near monsoonal rain for much of the opening period during which there were few clear-cut chances.
Green made a couple of decent saves while Hyde centre back James Jones almost scored at both ends.
First the on-loan Alfreton Town player headed narrowly over and then he almost turned a Jamie Morgan cross into his own half.
Coyne’s message to the players was to “keep the ball on the deck” as it became a lottery when played aerially in the swirling rain.
As conditions improved after the restart so did the quality of the match.
The breakthrough came in the 65th minute when Roscoe headed home Tongue’s corner from six yards, his third goal of the season.
“I have a big head and the ball flew in. I don’t remember much other than running to the Shed End,” explained the 24-year-old who was a youth-team player at Preston North End and professional at Fleetwood Town.
Roscoe is in his third season with Hyde and said the fans have yet to see him at his best because of the coronavirus interrupted campaigns.
In previous campaigns in non-league at Glossop, Ramsbottom and Buxton, he usually scored six or seven goals a season.
The goal from the self-employed gas fitter certainly warmed the spirits of the Hyde fans among the crowd of 375.
They had chances to double their lead as 18-year-old midfielder Cameron Fogerty had a drive deflected which flashed just wide of the upright and a lob which was also off target.
Hyde brought on 19-year-old striker Jack Doherty, signed on loan from Accrington Stanley, in the 76th minute and he showed some neat touches in build-up play.
The Dabbers, by contrast, introduced David Vaughan, 38, the former Blackpool, Sunderland and Nottingham Forest midfielder who was capped 42 times by Wales.
In the third minute of added time, though, it was Green who showed his quality as Nantwich threw everything at the Tigers in pursuit of an equaliser with a double save to deny Jamie Morgan and Matthew Devine and another great stop to beat away a goalbound shot from substitute Connor Heath.