IN their final pre-season friendly before their North Premier League season starts this week, the Ben Rhydding men won 2-0 at Wilmslow in the searing heat of an Indian summer’s day.

Neither side could gain any traction for the first 20 minutes and a full stretch, sliding save off the line by Matty Birch ensured that Rhydding did not succumb to the counter attack pressure that Wilmslow applied.

With some players missing, there was a chance to blood some of the rising stars of the club.

It was a fairy tale game for young Carrick Matthews, who scored the first goal for Ben Rhydding on his debut, showing mature composure in front of goal to flick the ball past the keeper.

His counterpart, Rob Elsworth, almost scored too as they both gave good accounts of themselves.

Outstanding defence from Rhydding ensured a flurry of Wilmslow corners came to nothing and a strong performance throughout from all the key players in the squad meant that Rhydding began to pull away and show more dominance in the second half.

Will McHugh scored a superb deflection in the top corner, rich reward for his hard work, connecting with a ball in from Matty Bairstow to make it 2-0.

Coach Demy Dowley described this as a pleasing performance with many processes firmly in place for the onset of the tough league contest that awaits them.

They begin with a local derby against Harrogate at home at 3pm on Saturday.