Lancaster City’s first game under new manager Chris Willcock was a heavy 4-0 defeat to an in-form Hyde United.
Despite a decent start to the game from Lancaster on Saturday, the visitors took the lead on the 16th minute and were largely in control of the game from that point forward.
The first 15 minutes were cagey at times and Lancaster had arguably the best chance during that period.
A long ball from Simon Grand was nodded towards Charlie Bailey by Dom Lawson.
Bailey made a great run into the box, but his attack was charged down by a Hyde defender and the subsequent corner came to nothing.
‘The Tigers’ took the lead after Harry Bunn got past his man and took the shot on.
His effort took a heavy and wicked deflection into the back of the net.
Hyde’s second goal was a result of major miscommunication at the back.
Former Morecambe man Lewis Alessandra capitalised on a big misunderstanding between goalkeeper Andre Mendes and Simon Grand, firing into an open net.
A header that just went wide from Grand after a set piece delivery was the closest the Dolly Blues came to halving the deficit prior to half time.
Seven minutes into the second half, Hyde added a third through another ex-Shrimps forward.
Jack Redshaw bore down on goal on the left-hand side of the box after a pass from Alessandra, and managed to slide the ball under Mendes and into the far bottom corner.
Not long after, the away side got their fourth and final goal of the game.
Will Russ was played clean through on goal and made no mistake in converting his chance.
Ex-Hyde man Kyle Brownhill had the chance to score a consolation goal after Dom Lawson cut out a loose pass and laid it off to him, but ‘keeper Jordan Eastham, formerly a Lancaster loanee, made a comfortable save.
New Lancaster City boss Chris Willcock spoke to Beyond Radio after the game.
“We made mistakes at certain stages of the game which have obviously cost us," he said.
“It was painful and difficult to watch at times but ultimately we have to reflect on that and come back stronger.
“There are always things to work on when you come into a job, no matter what stage of the season you come into it.
“Everybody can improve - weekly, daily - but in the main, I’m hoping that’s just a freak result. I don’t think any of us saw it coming.”
Next up for Lancaster is another home game, this time in the quarter final of the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy against local rivals Bamber Bridge, on Tuesday evening (January 16).
With it being a derby game in a competition that City have had recent success in - winning the 2019/20 edition of the trophy - Willcock and his team will be determined to put things right midweek.
Looking ahead to the clash, Willcock said: “I expect it to be a tough game, they’ve recently beat us, they’re an improving side after a difficult start to the season.
“They’ve got good quality and we’ll have to perform better than we did today [Saturday] to get anything out of the game.”
Lancaster City v Bamber Bridge in the Lancashire FA Trophy Quarter Final kicks off at 7.45pm on Tuesday (January 16) at The Giant Axe.
Lancaster City team v Hyde United: Mendes, S Bailey (c), Brownhill, Cowperthwaite (Connelly 58’), Grand, Barnes, Evangelinos (Holland-Wilkinson 58’), Sloan, Lawson, Norris, C Bailey
Players not used: Clarke, Deighan, Kilifin