Harrogate Town christened their new 3G pitch with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Hyde United.
This game was switched to Harrogate at 24 hours notice after Hyde’s own 3G pitch couldn’t be got ready in time to stage the match.
Town had the first chance when Lloyd Kerry shot at Thomas Beaurepaire from 25 yards.
Hyde retaliated immediately through Pete Boyle whose rising drive flashed over the home crossbar.
Beaurepaire had all on to parry a vicious free kick from Town’s,Andi Thanoj,while at the other end, Lloyd Allinson had to make a full length save to deny Boyle.
Both sides were adapting well to the new surface, but it was Town who threatened next when Thanoj fied a twenty yard free kick at the Hyde keeper.
However, Allinson had to make a point blank save when James Burke’s free kick fell to Phil Dean, to prevent the visitors taking the lead.
Two goals in three minutes put Town firmly in the driving seat. On 34 minutes a rebound fell kindly to Jordan Robertson who netted from close range.
Three minutes later, Thanoj’s superb crossfield ball was chested down by the unmarked Dominic Knowles and steered into the far corner.
Early action in the second half saw Dean almost pull one back for the Tigers when he rose highest from a corner but directed his header wide of the post.
Town then threw on seven subs, en bloc, to give them match practice, but it was the dangerous Dean who side footed past Town’s goal when well placed.
On 77 minutes, Town’s impressive trialist from Alfreton, Robertson,took advantage of Hyde’s inability to clear their lines to make it three from close range.
The new pitch played extremely well and will be a huge asset to Harrogate, and both sides, Town and new coach Dave McGurk’s Hyde, gained valuable match practice on the surface.
Report by John Harrison
Photography by Craig Hurle