The opening, Extra Preliminary Round, of this seasons’ Emirates FA Cup, would take centre-stage for clubs across Nottinghamshire on Saturday afternoon, with contrasting fortunes when compared to those on league duty.
Two victories, and three replays, from the six cup ties involving Notts clubs, was a decent return, both AFC Mansfield, and Kimberley Miners Welfare, the two to progress, whilst Selston, Radford, and Sherwood Colliery, all face replays, on Tuesday night.
Away to Corby Town, Sam Ackroyd would score the only goal, at the death, to send Mansfield through to the next round, whilst Kimberley enjoyed themselves at home to Lutterworth Town, James Shaw grabbing a hat-trick in their 5-1 win.
Of the three draws, Jobe Shaw would keep Sherwood Colliery in the cup when they were held to a 2-2 draw against visiting Long Eaton United, whilst Selston, and Radford, were held to 1-1 draws at Leicester Nirvana and Anstey Nomads, respectively.
Newark & Sherwood United meanwhile fell at the first hurdle, they crashing to a 5-1 reverse away to Loughborough Students, Luke White with the Notts clubs’ consolation effort, seven minutes into the second half.
Retford United started their Central Midlands League Premier North campaign under the Friday Night Lights at Cannon Park, defeating visitors Bakewell Town in front of a crowd of more than 200, Ryan Hindley’s netting in each half to earn the points.
Man-of-the-match, Mason Barlow, opened the Badgers’ account for the season, rocketing home on the half hour, whilst Mark West, yes he’s up-and-running already, wrapped up the points with a curling effort into the top corner, in the last minute.
Afterwards, Badgers boss, Hindley, said that it was: “A very tough opening game.
“Bakewell came and gave a great account of themselves and made life very difficult for us; I think they will go well in their maiden season.
“I’m delighted with the clean sheet; we were far from the levels I expect but three points in front of a big crowd is great, no injuries, and two goals good enough to win any game.
“All eyes move to Wednesday night now in a local derby against (SJR) Worksop. Thanks for the support and the reception after the game.”
Hindley’s Badgers lined up for the season opener as follows – Tom Crosby, Stuart Ludlam, Owen Fieldsend, Tom Brook, Will McGhie, Mason Barlow, Brendan Kane, Charlie Dawe, Niall Smith, Mark West, Jordan Turner.
Moving onto Saturday’s league matches, and it was a poor offering from Notts clubs, although there was also two derbies, in the United Counties, in which fans enjoyed.
There was defeat-upon-defeat for Notts clubs in the upper echelons of the non-league pyramid, Basford United falling to a 3-1 defeat away to Royston Town (Southern League Premier Central), Retford and Ollerton Town fell to defeat also, the former 2-1 away to Dronfield Town, the latter 2-0 at home to Beverley Town (Northern Counties East League Division One).
Meanwhile, in the United Counties League Division One, there was a mixed bag of results, with two derbies added into the mix, between Clifton All Whites and Southwell City (3-2 to Clifton), and between Dunkirk and West Bridgford (1-1).
Clifton AW are one of four Notts sides in the top ten in the early stages of the season after their 3-2 win at home to Southwell City, the hosts leading 2-1 at the break before wrapping up the win in the second period; Dunkirk and West Bridgford on the other-hand, shared the spoils in their clash, both goals coming in the first half.
As Gedling Miners Welfare were put to the sword when away to early pace-setters, Aylestone Park, braces from Matthew Langham, Aaron Nuttall and Louis Samuels capping an 8-0 win, Rainworth Miners Welfare also lost on the road, 2-1 at Blackstones, whilst Clipstone dropped to a lone-goal loss when home to Barrow Town.
Some saving face for Notts was gained elsewhere in the UCL Division One, Hucknall Town picking up a 4-0 home win over St. Andrews, and Newark Town romping to a 7-1 win against visitors Holwell Sports.
Goalless at the break, Hucknall grabbed a quick-fire three immediately after the restart, goals coming from Craig Westcarr (51), Morgan Bell (55) and Kieran Knight (56), the second half rout was completed in the closing ten minutes when Knight grabbed his second, and Hucknall’s fourth,
Newark, who won the Central Midlands North last season, romped to victory, putting their disappointing, opening day defeat, behind them in style.
Three, quick-fire goals in the first period had Town comfortable, Liam Bentley with two of those, on 10 and 24 minutes, with man-of-the-match, George Asplin’s effort sandwiched between; it would not be until the closing twenty that the hosts would assert further dominance though.
After an own-goal, and a consolation from the visitors, Town substitute Lenny Chatonzwa made it five with twenty left before Bentley completed his hat-trick, from the spot, five minutes later, and Josh Fraiwald, another second half change, wrapped it up with twelve to go.
Luke Parsons’ side lined-up ahead of their 7-1 home win, as follows – Phil McCann, Tristan Drummond, Jackson Buckthorp, Jack Beckett, Luke Anderson, Luke Parsons, Liam Bentley, Alex Hales, Jack McGovern, Mark Faflik, George Asplin.
The Central Midlands League sides didn’t fare much better either, both Collingham (3-0 at home to Dinnington) and SJR Worksop (6-0 away to Dearne & District) suffered defeat in the Premier North, as did Ashland Rovers (4-0 at home to Clay Cross Town) in Premier South.
Linby Colliery Welfare earned a point in a goalless draw with Winksworth Ivanhoe, the same result between Pinxton and Arnold Town, whilst Nottingham and Cromford & Wirksworth Town, shared the spoils in a high-scoring, 4-4 draw.
As for the second string sides of both Worksop Town and Retford, in the Central Midlands Division One North; the former, Worksop Town Development, won 2-0 away to Crowle Colts Development, whilst the latter, at home to Harworth Colliery Reserves, collected a 6-1 win, Billy Stafford with a brace.
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @offthebenchpics Retford celebrate under the Friday night lights during their win over Bakewell.