The opening-day spoils belonged to derby heroes THE EMPIRE and new team, AFC DOWHAN, as the new Sunday football season kicked off in Hucknall last weekend.
Empire pulled off an eyecatching 6-3 victory against local-derby rivals, ATHLETICO T8’S, in the Premier First Division of the Notts Sunday Morning League (NSML).
Joe Ashurst and Matt Innes helped themselves to two goals apiece, while Jake Wright and Ross Walker were also on target. Replying for the home side were Ryan Tennant, Jamie Brown and Ryan Orton.
Meanwhile player/manager Paul Prewett scored a couple of poignant goals in the first match for Dowhan, a new team set up to honour his best friend, Craig Dowhan, who was killed in a car accident earlier this year.
Prewett’s troops, who were all mates of Dowhan, son of respected Hucknall coach Chris ‘Chick’ Dowhan, kicked off the season with a fine 4-2 victory over Aslockton Cranmers in Senior Division Three of the NSML.
Prewett opened the scoring with a looping header after only five minutes and later made it 3-1 with a chip over the ‘keeper.
Also on target was Jonny Bernard, who turned in a free-kick by Dean R0dgers and then created Dowhan’s fourth goal for midfielder Damien Balandowitz. Aslockt0n’s replies came at 1-0 -- a penalty conceded by captain Luke ‘The Hacker’ Parkin -- and at 4-1.
BACK in Premier One,, BARFLYS H2O were without a game, but AFC H2O shared a 1-1 bdraw away to MIS United. Daniel Poole gave them the lead with a 25-yard screamer, only for Jason Frost to convert a spot-kick for the leveller.
In the Premier Premier Division, Station Hotel found that a new name and a new ground could not help them stave off defeat against AFC Sycamore Saints.
Station are now HUCKNALL TOWN SUNDAY, playing at The Yellows’ Watnall Road stadium. But they crashed 5-2, despite goals from Christian Mantezola in the first half, which finished all-sqiare.
An error by the goalkeeper enabled Tyrell Shannon-Lewis to restore Sycamore’s lead with his second of the game, and then two late strikes from hat-trick hero Blair Anderson sealed Town’s fate.
NEWLY-promoted BESTWOOD MINERS WELFARE could not have wished for a better start to life in Senior Division Two of the NSML.
For they spanked AFC Gedling 5-1 to carry on where they left off last term when crowned Senior Three champions. Darren Ward and Alex Carr each netted twice, while Greg Mitchell bagged the other goal.
In the same division, THE NABB INN grabbed a point in a 2-2 draw at Beeston Biz, courtesy of goals from Nick Clayton and Shane Brown.
ANOTHER new side in town are HUCKNALL WARRIORS, who launched their transition from youth football to the adult game with a 2-2 draw.
Warriors, who are playing in Division Three of the EMPAL Sunday League, were denied victory against White Hart by an equaliser six minutes into injury-time.
They had fallen behind on 15, only to hit back with strikes from Ryan Gunn on the half-hour and then Connor Griffin, who forced the ball over the line after good work by Liam Burley and Alex Galloway.
Warriors had other chances to take all three points, with a header from Jeremy Moran hitting a post.