Hyde United stalemate anything but a bore draw


Hyde United put down a marker showing they can match the best following Saturday’s home goalless draw against promotion-favourites South Shields.

The Tigers were worthy of their point against opponents who would be playing in National League North but for Covid-19 as they were 12 points clear at the top of Northern Premier League, premier division when the season was abandoned.

Shields, essentially a full-time professional outfit, are again expected to be the team to beat again this season with the side including former Oldham Athletic striker Darius Osei and Blair Adams who had played for Sunderland, Coventry City, Notts County and Cambridge United while former Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers and Leicester City striker Graham Fenton is joint manager.

While it was a match lacking in the final third – there was only one on target goal attempt in the 90 minutes – it was certainly not a dull and drab encounter, more a case of the sides cancelling out one another.

“There are poor goalless draws like the one against Farsley Celtic, but this game had a good intensity and good feeling about it,” explained Tigers’ manager Dave McGurk.

He was pleased with the reaction to the disappointing opening-day defeat at Gainsborough Trinity.

“That was more like it, and not just defensively. We were up against a fantastic team and had to give 100 per cent and tactically the lads got it spot on,” he continued.

“They came off exhausted, but that is how it should be after every game.”

McGurk was convinced his side ought to have had a penalty when Tom Pratt went down in the 76th minute.

“I felt it was a penalty. We had 90 minutes to win the game, so I am not going to moan about it,” he said.

By the same token, Shields also had a spot kick appeal rejected late on when Josh Gillies went tumbling.

Hyde’s manager was not concerned by a failure to score a goal in their opening two league games – they found the net five times at West Allotment Celtic in the Emirates FA Cup sandwiched between the two league games.

McGurk pointed to Louis Myers, Tom Pratt and Liam Tongue, explaining they are all players who will reach double figures.

The only time either goalkeeper was called upon in the whole game came in the 39th minute when Hyde’s Joe Green made a routine stop to deny Gillies.

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