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Relegated Duo Begin With Opening Day Defeats

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Bishop`s Stortford and Gosport Borough, relegated from the Vanarama National League South last April, both began their tenure in the Evo-Stik League South Premier with opening day defeats.

The Blues made the long trek to Devon to take on Tiverton Town, newly-promoted from the Evo-Stik South West, and were beaten 2-1 with goals from Tom Gardner after 55 minutes and Tom Bath 12 minutes from time – all after Jason Williams had given the visitors a 52nd minute breakthrough.

Gosport made an equally long journey to north Norfolk to play King`s Lynn Town and suffered a 2-0 defeat.

A crowd of 827 at The Walks saw a 2nd minute Michael Clunan penalty give the Linnets a great start that Craig Parker added to 6 minutes before half-time.

Of the other newly-promoted teams, Farnborough were the only winners, Nic Ciardini`s 17th minute effort eventually proving enough at St Neots Town.

Hereford FC fans bolstered the crowd at Kings Langley to 661 but saw their side trail 2-0 to goals from Steve Ward after just 3 minutes and then Mitchell Weiss after 55 minutes.

However, two goals in 2 minutes midway through the second half from Jamie Molyneux and Mark Preece pulled the Bulls back on level terms.

And then prolific marksman John Mills looked to have won it for the visitors with an 88th minute third, only for Kings` Gareth Price to grab a late leveller 5 minutes into stoppage time.

Royston Town were beaten 2-1 at Garden Walk by Stratford Town, who took an early 5th minute lead through Ben Stephens.

John Frendo equalised after 21 minutes, only for the visitors to respond within 5 minutes with a goal from Lee Thomas – a lead they held.

Fancied Slough Town suffered a 2-1 Arbour Park defeat in front of 760 against Kettering Town.

The Poppies led through Brett Solkhon`s 28th minute effort.

And they eventually doubled that when Ben Milnes made it 2-0 with less than a minute of normal time remaining.

James Dobson managed a stoppage time consolation for the Rebels.

Redditch United and Banbury United both started the new season by netting five goals at home.

The Reds had Dior Angus on form with a first half hat-trick in the 9th, 11th and 45th minutes.

Spencer Weir-Daley had netted in between on 38 minutes, and Darren Byfield`s side made it a nap hand through Vinny Mukendi 5 minutes from time.

Banbury saw off Dorchester Town 5-1 at the Spencer Stadium.

The Puritans had a great start, going two-up inside 10 minutes through Tom Winters and Conor McDonagh.

George Nash added a third in the 22nd minute and then Luke Carnell on 52 minutes and veteran Jefferson Louis 7 minutes later made it 5-0, rendering David Jerrard`s 75th minute penalty as just a consolation.

Chesham United`s new managerial team got off to a great start as they recorded a 3-0 win at the Carlsberg Stadium against Biggleswade Town.

Victor Osobu bagged a brace for the Generals in the 29th and then the 73rd minutes, with Alex Cathline adding a third in the 3rd minute of stoppage time.

Frome Town also started with a good away win – 3-1 at the Camrose against the youthful Basingstoke Town outfit.

An unfortunate 8th minute own goal from Marcus Johnson-Schuster gave Frome a great start that Jake Jackson added to after 21 minutes.

Ben Wright reduced the deficit from the spot 4 minutes after the break, but Jon Davies restored Frome`s two-goal advantage on 65 minutes.

Lewis Hilliard`s goal 7 minutes from time earned St Ives Town a really good 1-0 verdict at the Bob Lucas Stadium in front of 665 against Weymouth.

A crowd of 439 saw Merthyr Town and Hitchin Town share a goalless draw at Penydarren Park in the day`s other opening day fixture.

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About Author

Former Swansea City and Kettering Town defender who has been managing the likes of Kettering Town u18s, Rothwell Town, Desborough Town and Wellingborough Town for 33 years as well as being technical director at AFC Rushden & Diamonds.

Began in non-League journalism as editor of Team Talk magazine back in the early 1990s and then as editor of Non-League Daily, joining Pitchero to set up Pitchero Non-League in January 2011. Also works for the National League.

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