After weeks of pre-season friendly matches, the new season began in earnest this afternoon with seven matches in the two Senior divisions.
Following two seasons as runners up in the Black Dragon Badges North division, Clay Cross Town set their stall out early in their quest to go one better this season as they inflicted an 8-1 scoreline on Phoenix. The Millers notched five by half time, Josh Scully and Callum Lytham setting things in motion with two in the space of a minute, Josh Parfitt making it three on 21 minutes. Adam Davis pulled one back for the visitors with 36 minutes on the clock but Jordan Hendley restored the three goal margin two minutes later. Parfitt added his second on the stroke of half time, and registered the season’s first hat trick fifteen minutes from time. Will Harcourt and Parfitt’s fourth late on completed the scoring.
Another of last season’s form teams, AFC Bentley, left it late to take the points at home to Dronfield Town Reserves. Matty Hughes put the hosts in front on 10 minutes, but three minutes later Dronfield were in front thanks to quick goals from Luis Afonzo Ferrero and Tyrone O’Kane. After a missed penalty Jack Street levelled things eight minutes after the restart before Jack Varley’s 86th minute winner finally clinched things 3-2 for Bentley.
Retford United's return to the CML didn’t go to plan, Ryan Rushen’s first half strike giving Collingham the win at Cannon Park. Renishaw Rangers have made big strides over the last year and got their campaign off to a successful start by beating Staveley MW Reserves 2-0, the goals coming from Jack Yeomans and Aiden McTighe.
Underwood Villa had a tough baptism to their first season in the Black Dragon Badges South division, going down 4-0 to a hard-working Blidworth Welfare side at Bracken Park. New signing Josh Asuman put the visitors one up after 6 minutes, a powerful header from Jonathan Jenkinson half an hour later doubling the advantage. Underwood’s prospects weren’t helped by a player being dismissed for two cautions midway through the second half, Blidworth taking full advantage as sub Matthew Fowler (79 minutes) and Aidey Harris (86) completed the scoring.
Two late goals saw the points shared as Welbeck Lions played their first match “down south” against Mickleover RBL. Liam Arnold put the Lions in front with just three minutes from time following a corner, but there was still time for Josh Deakin’s headed goal to give the Legion a point in the last action of the match.
AFC Kilburn beat Linby Colliery 3-0 to start their season on a high, Jack Gaucher putting them ahead on 23 minutes from 25 yards. Ryan Fitzhugh’s penalty seven minutes into the second half and one from Matthew Pearce six minutes from the end guaranteed the points.
Written by Richard Lane.