HYDE UNITED 2, BELPER TOWN 0
Patience was the watchword as Hyde United beat Belper Town to maintain the unbeaten start to their Northern Premier League campaign.
Two late goals from striker Jack Redshaw secured victory which lifted the Tigers to fourth place in the premier division as they made it two wins and two draws from their four league fixtures.
It was a frustrating night until Redshaw broke the deadlock in the 72nd minute as Belper had proved stubborn opposition.
Hyde manager Nick Spooner explained: “We knew it would be tough as they have not had the best start to the season, and it would be a battle.
“They came for a point, and we were becoming anxious. I tried to encourage our players to take their time and we would get opportunities to break them down.”
Spooner describes it as a “positive start” to the campaign, though he was disappointed to be held by Radcliffe and Gainsborough.
Hyde’s manager is delighted that his side has improved at both ends of the pitch following last season’s battle against relegation.
They have conceded two goals in their opening four games while they have found the net five times.
Spooner said: “When I came in at the end of last season, we were letting in too many goals, and it was important we addressed that.
“We needed to score more goals and Jack has been a great signing as he guarantees goals and has played at a higher level.”
Some of the link-up play involving Redshaw and Adam Dawson, who provided assists for both goals, was a delightful as their experience of playing in the EFL is proving invaluable for the Tigers.
The match was a slow burner as it took 35 minutes for Hyde to create their first clear-cut chance when Dawson’s 25-yard drive forced a fine save from Ross Durrant.
Liam Tongue also had a chance and Todd Jordan sliced a clearance almost into his own net as Hyde finished the opening period strongly.
Redshaw and Tongue had openings early in the second half as Hyde kept knocking on the door.
Yet Belper almost snatched the lead on the hour with their first chance of the night.
A headed clearance fell to former Stalybridge Celtic defender Tom Wilson whose volley from outside the box was arrowing towards the top corner until goalkeeper Gio Bellagambi, the on-loan Huddersfield Town stopper, pulled off an amazing reflex save.
It proved a defining moment as 12 minutes later Hyde made the breakthrough after a quick passing move which ended with Dawson threading a pass to Redshaw who burst through on goal to slot home a low shot.
Belper subjected the Hyde defence to considerable pressure in the closing stages as they pursued an equaliser.
And in the fifth and final minute they were caught on the counter after Belper had sent goalkeeper Durrant forward for a corner.
Hyde broke through Dawson and the wide man might have gone solo but squared a pass for Redshaw to fire into an empty net from 30 yards with the visiting defenders frantically scurrying back to try and cut out the danger.
The goal, the last action of the match, sealed a hard-earned but deserved win for the Tigers.