HYDE FC have sacked manager Scott McNiven, with Gary Lowe returning for a second spell in charge as his replacement.

McNiven – as well as his assistant John Hills and goalkeeping coach Rhys Day – were relieved of their duties on Friday in the wake of the 7-1 derby defeat to Stalybridge Celtic on New Year’s Day.

The appointment of Lowe and assistant manager Martyn Booty swiftly followed with the pair installed in time to take charge of Sunday’s Conference North match against Barrow at Ewen Fields.

Lowe and Booty guided the Tigers to the Conference North title in their one season in charge in 2011-12 with a club-record 90 points but resigned soon after.

Former AFC Fylde boss McNiven took over in the summer of 2012, with former Bolton midfielder Gavin McCann acting as his right-hand man.

It was the second time he had taken over the managerial reins having successfully kept the Greater Manchester club in the sixth tier of English football at the end of 2010-11 whilst joint caretaker boss with Steve Halford.

Ex-Oldham defender McNiven, 36, led the Tigers to safety in the Conference Premier in 2012-13 during a memorable campaign which included away wins over Luton Town and Cambridge United, who now ply their trade in League Two.

But with resources stretched and funds limited, McNiven’s job became difficult as the Tigers were relegated back to the Conference North last term after finishing bottom of the division, recording just one win and a record-low 10 points throughout the campaign.

It has been an uphill struggle this term too with results and a consistent run of form hard to come by – and after a run of three wins from the last 12 games – McNiven departs with the club nine points adrift at the bottom of the table.

A statement on the club’s website read: “We wish to place on record our thanks to all the managerial and coaching staff for their efforts.”

Lowe arrives having been out of management since his first spell at Hyde ended two and a half years ago but the 55-year-old had subsequently been linked with numerous jobs.

The Manchester-born coach was close to becoming manager of Conference Premier outfit Chester last January after Neil Young’s exit having expressed his interest in the post before it was filled by Steve Burr.

Confirming Lowe’s appointment, the club website said: “Despite the team currently being in difficult circumstances, Gary and Martyn will do their utmost to achieve survival for the club this season.”

He will be hoping to hit the ground running and restore confidence ahead of upcoming cup ties against North Ferriby United and Macclesfield Town, where victories would significantly boost the club’s finances.

After the heavy loss at Bower Fold in their last game, Hyde remain 11 points behind Tameside rivals Stalybridge, who currently sit directly above the relegation zone in 21st place.

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