Harrogate Town cruised to a comfortable 4-1 victory over bottom club, Hyde F C.
The match was preceded by an impeccably observed minutes silence for long standing supporter, Ken Fozard,and the president’s grandson,Ian Dunnington, both of whom passed away recently.
New signing, Luke Sheils, was handed a debut at the heart of the Town defence,while Alex Metcalfe replaced the injured Lloyd Kerry in midfield.
Town survived an early threat when Adam Blakeman drove a free kick into the wall after Metcalfe fouled Josh Brizell.
However, it was Town who rocked the visitors with two goals in two minutes.On eight minutes,James Walshaw finished an interchange of passes with Craig Nelthorpe by shootong past Christian Thewlis from a tight angle, before Metcalfe’s half cleared corner was headed in by the unmarked skipper, Dave McGurk.
Hyde began to belie their lowly position with some dangerous attacks, with Brizell fizzing a free kick narrowly over after Rhys Meynell had earned himself a yellow card by bring down Connor Hughes.
Hyde were beginning to get behind the Town defence on the right flank and Phil Barnes did well to block Louis Almond’s shot at the near post.
But Town were not to be denied and Walshaw found the side netting after Thewlis spilt a Nelthorpe cross,but the keeper redeemed himself when he brilliantly turned Nelthorpe’s powerful drive round the post.
Dom Rowe made it three before the break when he wrong footed Blakeman and scored with an unstoppable shot into the far corner.
For long periods the second half was a scrappy affair as Town took their foot of the gas.
Almond and George Riley shot wide for Hyde and Phil Barnes earned himself,”Man of the Match” with several fine saves,but with ten minutes left,Town sub Louis Swain broke down the left and fired home an angled drive which literally broke the net.
Hyde did manage to grab a deserved late consolation goal when impressive débutante, Luke Sheils, brought down Almond, and Connor Hughes made no mistake from the penalty spot.
1Barnes, 2 Turner, 3 Meynell, 4 Nowakowski, 5 Sheils, 6 McGurk (c), 7 Rowe (Lenighan 69), 8 Metcalfe, 9 Speight, 10 Walshaw (Swain 41), 11 Nelthorpe.
Unused subs,13 Crook, 14 Carole, 15 Bloomer. Bookings Meynell,Nelthorpe
Scorers, Walshaw 8,McGurk 10,Rowe 37,Swain 79. Att. 506
By John Harrison.