Newly promoted AMBER ATHLETIC faced the unenviable prospect of being pitched against reigning champions MARLPOOL WHITE LION to kick off their Division One campaign. However, they rose to the challenge and took the lead through Matt Wilders. An opportunity to make the game safe was spurned when Matt Vincent missed a penalty kick, but his side held on to record a distinguished 1-0 victory.
HAYLOFT are the other promoted side but they found life more difficult and were brushed aside 6-3 by SHIRLAND MW.
Anthony Rowley, Matt Byard and Gary Hazelgrove got the goals for the home team, but they were not enough in the face of strikes from Shaun Archibald, Adrian Whitmore, Carl Rice, Adam Bellamy (2) and Guy Taylor that secured the points for Shirland.
There were no goals at the interval but the second period belonged to AFC SOUTH NORMANTON as they asserted against CODNOR MINERS ARMS.
Goals from Gaz Ellis, James Pearce, substitute Wade Marriott and a Jay Cooper 40 yard blast wrapped up a 4-0 win for the hosts.
A cagey first half hour produced no goals as CRIB entertained CORONATION CLUB.
However, Adam Nicholls then struck home a 20 yard drive to give the home team the interval lead. Liam Brown scored twice early in the second half as the Crib machine gained momentum, then Luke Crosby scored a debut goal.
Dan Storer reduced the deficit, but Cory Bowler smashed in an unstoppable shot to restore Crib’s advantage. Substitute Danny Allsopp came on to evoke memories of past glories by snatching a late consolation goal for the visitors in a game that referee Rod Lamb let flow.
The other game in the top flight resulted in a 6-0 win for JACKSDALE MW over RAINBOW INTERNATIONAL.
Adam Hassall notched a hat-trick as RIPLEY WHITE LION taught new boys SWANWICK VILLA a footballing lesson in their Division Two encounter. He drove home the opener from an acute angle before Paul Hodgkinson doubled the lead with a looping header. Hodgkinson and Matt Craig were dominant in the midfield and the former played in Hassall to convert and give his side a 3-0 interval cushion. The second period followed similar lines; first Curtis Fallowes scoring with an angled drive before Ian Cope celebrated the start of his 27th season in football with a headed goal.
The scoring was completed by Hassall when he finished with an exquisite lob to make it 6-0; then having a goal ruled offside when the linesman’s flag was raised. On this form, Lion will take some stopping whilst Villa will have easier days.
HOLMEWOOD MW ran into early disciplinary problems and had a man sent off when they visited OUT OF TOWN who recorded a5-2 win; Darren King, Tim Stone and Rod Spencer amongst the goals.
Two new sides faced each other in the game featuring BLACKWELL MW and HOLLY BUSH FC, and it was the visitors who ran out impressive 8-1 winners.
A Drew Moseley hat-trick was the key to kick starting ALFRETON MINERS ARMS season; the same player also missing a penalty kick. Dan Towndrow and Martin Ward also figured on the score sheet as their side beat SELSTON BULL AND BUTCHER 6-1. The visitors registered courtesy of a Chris Cartledge own goal.
BOUNDARY ATHLETIC beat ALLIANCE HEALTHCARE 4-2. Rob McGubbin, Kallum Jenkin, Rob Cairns and Karl Churms scored for the home team, with Brady Parker and Tom Newman replying for the visitors.
Two injury time goals turned the game on its head and saw GLADIATORS secure an unlikely 2-1 opening day victory over HEANOR STAFFS RESERVES.
MARLPOOL UNITED won 5-2 at BULLS HEAD, whilst HILCOTE MW went down narrowly to JACKSDALE SOCIAL CLUB by 1-2.
Fixtures for Sunday, September 9
AFC South Normanton v Jacksdale MW
Amber Athletic v Hayloft
Crib v Marlpool White Lion
Rainbow Int v Coronation Club
Shirland MW v Codnor Miners Arms
Alfreton Insurance 2nd Division
Gallows Inn FC v Ripley White Lion
Heanor Staff v Derby Madrid FC
Holmewood FC v Railway (Pinxton)
Out of Town v Swanwick Villa
Alfreton Insurance 3rd Division
Alliance Healthcare v Alfreton Miners Arms
Heanor Staff Reserves v Boundary Ath
Jacksdale Social Club v Gladiators FC
Marlpool Utd v Bulls Head
Selston Bull & Butcher v Hilcote MW