Kicking off in earnest with a full fixture list, the Northern Premier League Premier division returned this weekend, with a number of storylines across the league.
Stalybridge Suffer Defeat in Five Goal Thriller
Despite scoring twice away from home, Stalybridge Celtic were unfortunate 3-2 losers to Nantwich Town in their season opener.
Taking the lead after 11 minutes, Scott Bakkor’s penalty had put Celtic in front, but they were quickly pegged back by the home side, with Carlos Gomez Montefiori equalising midway through the first half.
Sean Cooke’s penalty gave Nantwich the advantage just before halftime, with Shaun Miller adding a third after the break. Stephen Brogan’s strike 10 minutes from time had appeared to give Stalybridge a route back into the match, but it proved too little too late for the Greater Manchester club.
Ashton United Impress Against Matlock
Tom Bentham and Jack Redshaw were on target to give Ashton United a 2-0 opening day victory over Matlock Town.
Scoring twice within an 18 minute period, Bentham gave United an early lead, before Redshaw doubled the home side’s advantage from the spot.
For Matlock, they will be hoping to bounce back when Basford United travel to Derbyshire on Tuesday night, whilst Ashton are looking to make it two from two against Scarborough Athletic.
Warrington Town Topple FC United
Warrington Town saw off FC United of Manchester with a convincing 2-0 victory in front of a bumper crowd at Cantilever Park.
With well over 1000 supporters in attendance, Jordan Buckley’s brace was enough to give the Yellows an impressive opening day victory, with the Warrington forward scoring twice against his former side.
Buckley joined Town from FC United in January 2020 and his two goals ensured Paul Carden’s side got off to the perfect start against one of the title favourites.
Atherton Collieries Leave it Late Against Hyde United
Luca Defreitas-Hansen scored nine minutes from time to hand Atherton Collieries a precious opening day win away to Hyde United.
Jack Lenehan’s whipped free-kick proved problematic for the Hyde defenders, with Defreitas-Hansen lurking at the back post to flick the ball home from close range.
Bamber United await Atherton in midweek, whilst Hyde will be on the lookout for three points when they travel to Nantwich.
Buxton Batter Bamber Bridge
Warren Clarke, Diego De Dirolamo and Benjamin Milnes were all on target for Buxton as they battered their way past Bamber Bridge with a 3-0 victory.
First-half goals from Clarke and De Dirolamo gave the home side a comfortable halftime lead, with Milnes adding a third for the Derbyshire club deep into added time.
For De Dirolamo, his blushes were spared, as the forward had missed a penalty for Buxton with the scores still at 0-0. Talk about making amends!
Elsewhere on Opening Day
South Shields cruised to a 3-0 victory against Mickleover in front of the weekend’s biggest crowd, with Ntumba Massanka bagging a double for the club from the North East.
There were also wins for Whitby Town, Stafford Rangers and Grantham Town, whilst Gainsborough Trinity and Witton Albion drew 1-1.
Nothing was able to separate Basford United and Scarborough Athletic, as the pair played out the only 0-0 draw from matchday one.