Allscott Heath 4-3 Ingles
It was memorable opening game in MFL Division One for Allscott Heath with the Shropshire side hosting Ingles on Saturday afternoon in a thrilling encounter to start the season. Essa Fabuary opened the scoring for the hosts in the first minute before two first half goals from Jack Allen gave Ingles a narrow advantage on the half hour mark. Will Rogers managed to score an equaliser for Allscott in an action packed first half with the HT score 2-2 going into the break.
The second half also involved a lot of goals and included a dramatic finish late on with Ryan Mansell scoring for the hosts to give them a 3-2 lead before Ingles equalised through Kieran Oakes a few minutes later to make it 3-3 with ten minutes to go. A brilliant match deserved a memorable ending and Allscott managed to score a late winner on their MFL debut with new signing Leigh Brindley scoring a huge winner in the 92nd minute.
A good turnout of 65 supporters turned up for the historic occasion and there were positives for both teams to take from it.
Bilston Town 1-2 Stapenhill
Bilston Town started the season with an opening day loss at Queen Street against Stapenhill. Both teams will be looking to challenge for the play offs this season and the visitors narrowly came on top in a match full of quality from both sides.
Goals from Sam Birks and Ryan King gave the visitors a 2-0 lead before Bilston pulled a goal back from the penalty spot to set up a tense finish. Despite the nervy ending Stapenhill managed to hold on and take home the three points. It was an impressive performance by the Swans with goalkeeper Paul Hollis making a number of notable saves to give new manager Mitchell Hennings a win in his first game in charge of the club.
It was a slightly surprising result for Bilston but it’s a long season and the way the Steelmen battled back and showed character from 2-0 down is something to build on for the upcoming games.
Chelmsley Town 2-1 Shawbury United
Chelmsley opened the season with an encouraging win against Shawbury United at Pack Meadow in front of a crowd of 62 supporters. Danny Brain scored a second half brace for Chelmsley which gave the hosts three points and something to build on for their upcoming games including their home game against Coventry Copsewood on Monday evening.
The home side showed a lot of character to come back from 1-0 down with Shawbury scoring from a back post header in the first half to make it 1-0 going into HT.
Shawbury can take a lot of positives from the match and were competitive throughout against a good side that have managed to keep key players from last season such as captain Aidan Doherty at the back and midfielder Joe Summers. It might take Shawbury a few matches to get going with a new manager and squad in place. Similar to Smethwick, supporters will need to be patient and take the long view.
Coton Green 0-2 Wednesfield
Coton Green started the season with a surprising home loss against Wednesfield at New Mill Lane in front of a crowd of 40 supporters. The result was arguably the most surprising of the weekend with the hosts well fancied to push on from last season’s top half finish.
None the less, it is only one match in a long season and the club have also appointed a new manager in Jason Pyott who might need a bit of time to get his ideas across in terms of playing style before things start to click for the hosts.
The goals were scored by Shakiel Mulling and Kie Houlihan in the second half for the visitors who managed to come away with the three points. It’s a really positive result for Wednesfield and something to build on for the season with New Mill Lane a tough place to go for away teams.
Cradley Town 3-2 Coventry Copsewood
Cradley came away with an opening day win against Coventry Copsewood at Beeches View Avenue in front of an impressive crowd of 101 supporters. The visitors started the match well and scored early on through new signing Sean Kavanagh who had an impressive season with Coventrians in division three last season.
Chris Bladen equalised for the hosts early in the second half before Sean Kavanagh managed to score a few minutes later to restore the visitor’s lead. Cradley Town skipper Darren Whitley managed to score an equaliser to make it 2-2 before Cradley took the lead to make it 3-2 and hold on for the win.
The signs are looking good for The Hammers to have a positive season in MFL Division One. Despite the defeat, Coventry Copsewood equipped themselves well and there were plenty of positives to take with Sean Kavanagh getting on the scoresheet for the visitors and Olly Manuel returning from an injury.
Hinckley 3-2 Droitwich Spa
Hinckley started the season well with an opening day win against Droitwich Spa in front of a crowd of 202 supporters. The hosts got off to the perfect start with Johnny Roque Johnson opening the scoring in the first minute to ease away any nerves and give Hinckley a 1-0 HT lead. Further goals from Benjamin Whitehead-Thompson and Joe Obi early in the second half gave Hinckley a three-goal lead.
Two late goals for Droitwich Spa from Connor Collins and Charlie Tilley set up a tense finish with Hinckley managing to hold on get the three points. Both teams had a lot of positives to take from the game for the season ahead and Droitwich Spa showed a lot of character to make a match of it late in the second half.
Both clubs will be looking to get in the play-offs this season and this match showed the credentials of both sides to challenge near the top of the table.
Nuneaton Griff 1-0 OJM Black Country
A brilliant defensive performance earned Nuneaton Griff three points at the Pingles stadium against a promising OJM side in front of a crowd of 64 supporters. The only goal of the game came from a Danny Harris penalty for the Heartlanders in the first half and the hosts held on throughout the second half to claim an impressive opening day win against a side that will be aiming for the play-offs this season.
The hosts look a strong team with Ash Gray being the skipper and Nathan McGarrity leading the line as the number nine. Another positive for Nuneaton Griff is how well organised they are off the ball and was a key feature of this match. If Nuneaton Griff can be well organised defensively and have Nathan McGarrity available as their clinical finisher it could result in the club being a dark horse for the play offs.
OJM showed moments of quality throughout the match and had a penalty missed which could have resulted in a different match on the day. It’s a long season and the team might need a bit of time to take shape before hitting a run of form.
Wolverhampton Sporting Community 1-2 Heather St John’s
Heather St John’s started well to life in MFL Division One with an opening day win against tough opposition in Wolverhampton SC. It’s a positive start to the season for new Saints manager Neil Costello and if things go right throughout the season, they will be looking at challenging for the play offs.
Despite the defeat, it’s a long season for Wolverhampton SC and playing a team that have recently been relegated from a higher division was a tough test for the opening day. There will be plenty of chances to build some momentum for the hosts including four home games in MFL Division One within the next month starting with Allscott Heath on Tuesday evening.
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