Brett Doogan's 24th minute header condemned ten-man Chadderton to a 0-1 defeat at the hands of Nelson, on the opening day of the 2018/2019 Hallmark Security League First Division North season.
The defender's first-half strike proved to be the only difference between the sides - in a game where midfielder Ryan Shenton was sent off for an off-the-ball altercation - on a glorious afternoon at the ARK Fleetech Stadium.
David Fish's side headed into the tie on the back of an encouraging display during Tuesday's 1-3 home defeat to Evo-Stik West Division outfit Mossley and they started well this time around also.
Chadderton squandered a marvellous chance in the 5th minute when Shenton's driven pass found the feet of Liam Eadsforth, who fired the ball at Nelson goalkeeper Marcel Wsiewicz.
Wsiewicz parried the ball into the path of Jack Turnbull but unfortunately, the Chaddy skipper fired over from the rebound.
The hosts quickly began to build momentum during the opening period, and they went close again just seven minutes later. This time, Joe Pennington - who was making his competitive debut for the club after arriving from Curzon Ashton during the summer - found Brad Kay with a superbly weighted through ball, but the forward struck the ball straight into the hands of Wsiewicz.
Despite the strong start, the turning point of the half arrived 12 minutes later when Joe Richards was penalised for man-handling Josh Cliff. From the resulting free-kick, centre-half Doogan rose highest to head home past Jordan Hadlow and give the visitors the lead.
Doogan's effort didn't seem to faze the hosts though, less than a minute had passed when Pennington met Jack Ward's lofted cross - but the defender headed wide of the mark.
Boss Fish will have been delighted with his side's response but they were almost two down when Hadlow flapped at a high cross and Gareth Hill raced onto the loose ball. Fortunately for Chaddy though, Hill was unable to capitalise on an open goal as former Manchester Central stopper Hadlow, flung himself to tip the ball onto the post and produce a stunning save.
Chadderton then had two chances of their own shortly before the break when Turnbull latched onto a neat through ball from Shenton and scuffed his effort wide, before Eadsforth skipped past five Nelson defenders and saw his low effort blocked by Wsiewicz.
After the break, it was a similar story for Chadderton. Goal-scorer Doogan was the only thing in the way of Kay netting two minutes into the half. Connor Naughton picked out the forward, but his effort was cleared by Doogan.
Kay worked tirelessly for the side but just couldn't score, he failed to convert another chance soon after when Turnbull strolled the ball across goal into his path, but the ball was slightly beyond his reach and the forward couldn't make a crisp connection.
Nelson almost doubled their lead midway through the half when Sam Dickinson's deflected long-range effort looked destined for the top corner, only for Hadlow to remarkably tip the ball over the crossbar.
Things worsened for the hosts shortly afterwards when midfielder Shenton - who rejoined the club this week after returning from Curzon Ashton - was shown a red card by referee Matt McQuillan for an off-the-ball altercation.
Manager Fish reacted immediately, sacrificing attacker Ward to make way for midfielder Toby Ferguson and the change proved an inspired one when Ferguson kick-started a move which ultimately resulted in Richards volleying over.
The hosts then had two big let offs when Hadlow's clearance rebounded off Hill and bobbled narrowly wide of the open goal, before Bradley Cookson rifled the ball off the upright a minute later.
Chadderton can be proud of their efforts throughout the showdown, only missed chances cost them the chance to claim their first points of the campaign - though they do have an immediate opportunity to do so when they travel to AFC Liverpool this coming Wednesday. The game kicks off at 7:45pm.
Chadderton: Hadlow, Riley, Richards, Naughton, Pennington, Eadsforth, Shenton, Kay, Ward, Turnbull (C). Subs: Iluobe, Ferguson, Dewar, Muhammad, Shawcross.
Nelson: Wsiewicz, Wolfenden, Grice, Doogan, C. Lloyd, Dickinson, Cliff, Demaine, Hill, J. Lloyd, Townsend. Subs: Leech, Russell, Cookson, Salmon, Chingwaro.
Goalscorers: Nelson - Doogan (24')