By David Holland

Opening day by Stan Wilton

Saturday 12th September

Whilst all leagues were told they had to start with last season’s teams, the East Midlands Counties League, due to only having 19 clubs last campaign, welcomed OLLERTON TOWN from the Northern Counties East, who in turn welcomed back Emley so that the North West Counties could accommodate the newly formed Bury side. And what a start the O’s made to their first EMC campaign. They were
ahead in the first minute through Gav King who went on to find the net on five occasions including a 68th minute penalty. Ben Partridge scored twice in the space of three minutes before the break as visitors BARROW TOWN didn’t know what hit them. Lewis Bingham and George Slack completed the scoring.

There were bags of goal all round as KIMBERLEY MINERS WELFARE hit visiting RADFORD for a nap hand with Jordan Smith claiming a hat-trick and Sam Brown and Sacha Markelic hitting the others in front of an impressive crowd of 112.

CLIPSTONE also hit five as they claimed all three points at GRAHAM STREET PRIMS with an impressive opening day display. Chris Smith started things off on 19
minutes and Jonathan Watkin doubled the advantage three minutes later. Lee Fell gave Prims hope by halving Clipstone’s lead five minutes into the second half but Tom Weaver and Marcus Beddoe added further goals around the hour mark before Jack Warwick completed the scoring for the visitors with five minutes remaining.

CLIFTON ALL WHITES were not far behind claiming an opening day win at BELPER UNITED with a 4-2 scoreline. It was all square until three minutes before the break and then first Conor Moore and then Sam Leggitt put the Whites into a comfortable half time lead. Martin Smyth pulled one back just before the hour but
two goals at the death from Kyle Stovell and Matt Timms saw the visitors home despite Curtin Williamson scoring again for United in the dying seconds.

One of the title favourties, HUCKNALL TOWN, had to come from behind to record
three points against a much improved SHIREBROOK TOWN outfit who actually took the lead on the hour through Nathan Jessop. But the Brookies found that Hucknall had a sting in the tale as they mounted a titanic finish backed by the best crowd of
the day of 204. Rory Smith restored parity to the occasion in the 66th minute, Aaron Short gave them the lead for the first time nine minutes later and Grant Ryan made the final count 3-1 with a goal nine minutes from the end.

DUNKIRK recorded a satisfactory opening day win also scoring three against a BORROWASH VICTORIA side who struggled at the bottom of the table for most of the last unfinished season. Craig Meakin got them off to the best possible start with a goal after just three minutes and Ellis Evans made it two on the half hour.
Joel Isaac pulled one back before the break but Michael Fitzhugh sealed the win with a third for the Boatmen three minutes from time.

Goals from Dean Copson in the 37 th minute and Mitchell Woodbine on 56 saw INGLES overcome visitors TEVERSAL who had taken the lead through Tom Batterham’s 24 th minute penalty.

SHERWOOD COLLIERY scored through Keenan Leeds and Kieran
Wells penalty in the first fifteen minutes and held that lead until the end to win at RAINWORTH MINERS WELFARE.

HEANOR TOWN’s home game against GEDLING MINERS WELFARE was called off due to the Coronavirus Epidemic and similarly so was WEST BRIDGFORD’s home FA Cup Preliminary Round tie with Northern Premier League Lincoln United which gave the Regetta Men a bye to the First Qualifying Round.

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