AFC Hucknall’s Central Midlands League (South Division) campaign got off to the worst possible start as they fell 6-0 at Belper United.
The result was harsh on Hucknall, who put in a good overall performance. But it was a lesson for their young side in how to take chances when they are presented and how to deal with the physical challenges that will come at this level.
AFC weathered an early spell of pressure from United, who are one of the title favourites, and eventually started to put the home side on the back foot with some neat passing football.
AFC should have taken the lead when Olisah Chibuzo cut in from the right and with the keeper to beat chipped him but saw the ball roll just wide.
Ola Ajewole started to have joy down the left and delivered several tantalising crosses that should have been met with more purpose, and Ajewole himself was inches from connecting with a Chibuzo cross after Craig Maddison’s effort had been blocked.
But United took the lead when Jay Harrison capitalised on a mix-up between keeper James Beddingham and Macauley Barber to score.
This unsettled AFC but they could not have anticipated what the second-half would bring.
Forced into changes due to injuries, they never recovered and Harrison and Glyn Wadsworth had soon netted to make it 3-0.
Further goals from Adam Taylor and two from Mark Brewster sealed AFC’s fate and despite a spirited display, they couldn’t find a route through.
n AFC LINE-UP — Beddingham/ Henry, Arnold, Barber, Wapplington, Chibuzo, Smith, Maddison, Ajewole, Middleton, Pemberton. Subs: Sanders, Butau, Lomax.