Chromasport United Counties League
Published 19th August 2012
....United Counties League season was on new boys AFC Rushden & Diamonds as they began life at Wellingborough Town`s Dog & Duck.
The Diamonds entertained relegated Thrapston Town, and a magnificent crowd of 784 turned up to witness the historic occasion.
They had to be patient but they eventually saw the newcomers begin with a win.
Former Woodford United and Cogenhoe United striker Alfie Taylor made the 58th minute breakthrough for AFC.
The second goal arrived after 76 minutes, Taylor scoring his second after Jack Wisniewski headed a Joe Merrill cross back across goal.
And birthday boy Wisniewski scored the third goal himself 4 minutes from the end.
The Premier Division welcomed Shepshed Dynamo and Quorn, both relegated from the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League at the end of last season, but neither could start with a home win.
Rob McCormick gave Dynamo the lead at the Dovecote against Newport Pagnell Town, only for John Thorpe to level, while nearby Michael Byrne gave visiting Deeping Rangers the lead that Luke Edwards cancelled out for the Leicestershire side.
Fancied St Ives Town were the biggest opening day victors, hammering Desborough Town 6-2 at the Waterworks.
Last season's Premier Division top scorer Conor Washington produced a cool finish to give the Saints a 29th minute lead.
Three minutes into the second period Washington netted a carbon copy second.
The Saints were in control now and a close range Karl Gibbs header extended the lead on 56 minutes.
Stuart Cobb converted a Gibbs pass after 65 minutes and ex-Peterborough Northern Star goal ace Gibbs scored his second 2 minutes later.
Gibbs completed his hat-trick after 72 minutes, turning in a Jamie Alsop cross via the goalkeeper and defender Nicky Grant.
Andy Gordon's lob from 18 yards gave Desborough an 80th minute consolation and with 5 minutes to play Jon Mitchell rounded the keeper to score an Ar Tarn second.
Reigning champions Long Buckby – much-changed now after the departure of their manager and the majority of their title-winning squad – were demolished 5-1 at Holbeach United.
Sam Mulready, on loan from Blue Square Bet North side Gainsborough Trinity, scored the day`s fastest goal after just 25 seconds, and scored again alongside efforts from Robbie Harris, Tommy Treacher and Andy Tidswell.
Two goals from ex-Peterborough United striker Francis Green and singles from Shane Tolley and Jacob Joyce saw Holbeach`s fancied neighbours Spalding United to a 4-2 home win over AFC Kempston Rovers, who replied through Drew Phillips and Ashley Farmer.
S& L Corby produced the comeback of the day to take the points at In2Itive Park against Yaxley.
Cuckoos skipper Ricky Hailstone gave his side a 24th minute advantage.
When Ashley Brand scored his third goal in two games 4 minutes past the hour-mark it looked like new-look Yaxley would kick off the league season with three points.
But three goals in 6 minutes turned the game on its head.
Ed Matthews struck after 69 and 71 minutes to put S&L on terms.
The fight back was completed by a Jamie O'Neill winner with a quarter of an hour remaining.
Blackstones made it a winning start to the campaign with a 3-1 success over Irchester United at- Alfred Street.
Michael Nelson's 4th minute goal gave the visitors a great start.
Dan Turrickki's 36th minute own goal gave Stones their second, but within a minute Mitch Blande had put the Romans back in the game.
Nelson's second goal 3 minutes before the interval sealed the win for Stones.
Peterborough Northern Star earned a three-point opening to their league season at home to Wellingborough Town.
It was the Doughboys who drew first blood when Michael Boyle-Chong's 5th minute effort got the better of home custodian Lee Brooks.
Seth Burkett squared the contest within a minute and Star went ahead 19 minutes in with Adam Weston's pass releasing Bolly Smith whose cross was flicked in by Nick Davey.
And Davey extended the home advantage in the final minute of the first half.
Dan Clements sealed the home success after 49 minutes although the Doughboys cut the arrears through Ryan Cherry after 55 minutes. There was a losing start for promoted Huntingdon Town at Boston Town.
The Division One champions failed to make the most of their chances and paid the penalty.
Co-manager Ian Dunn scored the vital goal for the Poachers after 20 minutes.
Cogenhoe United bounced back from their FA Cup exit to make a winning start to the league campaign at Sleaford Town.
Darren Frost's 10th minute goal had the Cooks ahead at the break.
Liam Tunstall hauled Town on terms after 80 minutes, but parity proved short lived as Frost's second goal 6 minutes later sunk Sleaford, who finished the contest with nine-men.