Sikh Hunters 3-0 Old Wulfrunians
By Harj Padda
Victory to kick off season for Lovatt's Lions
Sikh Hunters first foray into Step 7 football got off to the perfect start on Saturday as they defeated last season's third place side and one of the favourites for promotion this time around, Old Wulfrunians.
Having kept the vast majority of last season's squad together it was a familiar looking Hunters line up with just 3 debutants, goalkeeper Liam Haynes along with full backs Derry Cook and Avtar Singh.
The opening exchanges were fairly even with both sides having a look at each other. Ashley Smith had a free kick tipped around the post by the Old Wulfs goalkeeper while Haynes had to be alert at the other end with a free kick that bounced awkwardly in front of him. As the half wore on, it was the home side who were becoming the dominant side with Tyrone Atkinson and Mitch Lawley both going close before Hunters took the lead in the 26th minute in unusually route one fashion. A long kick from Haynes was flicked on well by Atkinson into the path of Hinesh Patel. He jinked his way to the edge of the area before lashing home left footed leaving the goalkeeper grasping at thin air.
The visitors' heads seem to drop after that as the remainder of the half was all Hunters and they deservedly doubled their advantage just before half time. A Hunters corner was only half cleared to Patel 30 yards from goal, he drifted out to the left and beat two players to get to the byline before cutting the ball back to his strike partner Atkinson who swept home first time on his left foot into the corner.
The second half was evenly matched with Hunters keeping their opponents at arms length, knowing the importance of the third goal. When it came in the 70th minute, it was well worth the wait. Danny Bell picked the ball up on the left wing with two opposing players attempting to retrieve the ball. After being fouled at least twice, Bell managed to wriggle away and the referee to his credit played a good advantage. Bell then beat another two men as he entered the box and managed to get his shot away. Although not the cleanest of strikes, the placement meant it was past the keeper's dive and into the far corner for an early contender for goal of the season.
3-0 it finished and a nigh on perfect start to the season for Hunters. A win at the first time of asking at their new home, three goals against the side who conceded the least in the division last season, a clean sheet for a team with three debutants in the back five and impressive performances all over the park.
This Saturday, Hunters at are home again as they host Droitwich Spa at their Long Lane Park home. Kick off is at 3pm.