It was a magnificent seven for our local non-league clubs on the opening day of the season.
Seven clubs - Hallam, Handsworth Parramore, Worksop Town, Parkgate, Armthorpe Welfare, Dronfield Town and Worsbrough Bridge Athletic - all tasted victory.
Michael Blythen’s first half goal saw Hallam get their campaign off to a flying start with a 1-0 win at Hall Road Rangers, while Handsworth Parramore eased to a 3-0 home win over Pickering Town.
Kieran Wells got the Ambers off to a great start, nodding in Danny Butle’s cross in the fifth minute, and new signing Jonathan Froggatt scored his first for the club 10 minutes later. Wells wrapped up the points, scoring his second midway through the second half.
Parkgate made a solid start, beating relegated Brigg Town 3-0 at Green Lane. Piers Bond sent the Steelmen in leading 1-0 at the break, before two goals from Ryan Johnson inside the last 20 minutes sealed an impressive victory.
Worksop Town are the Premier Division’s early leaders, following a 6-0 romp at Athersley Recreation.
It started badly for the home side when they had Jack Briscoe sent off inside the opening half hour for a high tackle on Phil Roe. And Worksop soon made their numerical advantage count as Shaq McKenzie scored the opener on 40 minutes.
The Tigers doubled their lead when debutant Jamie Hadfield nodded home, and Mckenzie tapped in the third five minutes into the second half.
Worksop rubbed salt in the wound with three more inside the last eight minutes from Conor Sellars (pen), Mitch Husbands and Tom Elliott’s neat finish.
Armthorpe Welfare got off to a flyer, winning 3-1 at promoted Pontefract Collieries, but it was a losing start for Staveley MW’s new boss Brett Marshall as his new charges went down 2-0 at home against Bridlington Town.
Retford United were beaten 1-0 at home by Albion Sports but Maltby Main put up a spirited showing against promotion favourites Tadcaster Albion, eventually losing out 6-3. Dean Conway, Ben Thornton and Farbod Yousefi were on target for the Miners.
In Division One, Dronfield Town strolled to a 4-0 win over Grimsby Borough.
Goals from Joe Long and Oliver Fearon saw Worsbrough Bridge Atlhetic come away 2-0 winners at Lincoln Moorlands Railway.
Rossington Main player/manager Lee Holmes scored twice in his first game in charge in a 2-2 draw with AFC Emley. Penistone Church were beaten 2-1 at home by Shirebrook.
n Fixtures, tomorrow: NCE League Cup First Round: Hemsworth MW v AFC Emley, Shirebrook Town v Dronfield Town.
n Premier Division: Armthorpe Welfare v Athersley Recreation, Tadcaster Albion v Parkgate.
Division One: Hallam v Westella VIP, Rossington Main v Knaresborough Town, Worsbrough Bridge Athletic v Penistone Church.
Wednesday: Premier Division: Brigg Town v Staveley MW, Maltby Main v Retford United, Worksop Town v Clipstone.
n See Friday’s Grass Roots for a full report and pictures from Dronfield Town v Grimsby.