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Tuesday 3rd August 2021



Two of the new sides met at Second Meadow and it was the former Eastern Counties League club with big smiles on their faces at the end following a resounding 7-1 away win. Matt Allan, Daniel Baulk and Simon Unwin all bagged doubles with Richard Chadwick scoring their other goal. Fraelis Mienambolo had slotted home an equaliser for the home side after 18 minutes but that was as good as it got for the home side. Unwin had opened the scoring at the back post on 5 minutes and Rovers regained the lead through Baulk on 28, slipping the ball under the keeper at the end of a quick breakaway. The visitor’s third came from the penalty spot when Allan converted on 38 to make it 1-3 at the break. Five minutes after the restart Baulk fired home from a cut back and it was all over on 54 when Chadwick swept home from a set-piece. Two minutes later it looked like a case of how many when Allan tapped home his second of the night, but they only added one more on 78 when Unwin had space to head home a high cross.


Newly promoted Bugbrooke celebrated their return to step five football with a 4-2 win over a much-changed Rothwell side at the Sett. The Badgers went 2-0 up inside the opening 20 minutes with Dan Quigley hooking a shot into the top corner after 12 minutes and Levi Freeman doubled the lead when he broke through seven minutes later. The apparent easy ride though took a knock-back when Rothwell hit back thanks to a Zac Allen brace to level things up again. Allen’s first coming from a shot drilled in from just inside the box and his equaliser direct from a 25-yard free-kick struck low into the bottom corner. Bugbrooke retook the lead eleven minutes into the second half when Greg Ling slotted the ball past the on-rushing keeper and Freeman grabbed his second of the evening on 67 minutes when he took advantage of a failed clearance to put the ball into the back of the net.


The Cooks were comfortable winners in this Northants derby thanks to Dylan Wilson’s cool finish on 13 mins, a well-struck shot from Jack Daldy on 28 and a second for the latter with a firm header from a free-kick on 49. Archie Elmore claiming an assist for all three goals.


It looks like it could be another season of struggle for Star if their opening game at Eynesbury is anything to go by after the UCL returnees hit them for seven. It took Rovers just two minutes to open the scoring when Tom Sparks scored direct from a corner kick and it was two on 10 when Leon Lobjoit netted a debut goal through a great solo effort. James Hatch made it 3-0 on 14 minutes and it was four on 18 when Lobjoit headed home from a corner. 5-0 on 19 minutes as Charlie Moss joined in and it was looking like double figures with still 71 minutes remaining, but Star managed to close the floodgates to see out the rest of the first half at least. Rovers missed a penalty four minutes after the restart but Cameron Hyde did make it six just before the hour. A great goal from Star sub Luke Clemenson did at least get the visitors onto the scoresheet eleven minutes from the end, but Lobjoit completed his hat-trick with six minutes remaining. Great day for Eynesbury on their return to the league, but it would appear to be a tough one ahead for the Peterborough club.


Nat Ansu continued where he left off last season with an opening day double strike as his new side Harborough swept GNG Oadby Town aside on the 3G at Northampton Road. Skipper Ben Williams towering header opened the scoring on 41 minutes and Ansu got his first after good work from Dodzi Agbenu six minutes after the restart. James Ireland’s looping header from Dan Cooper’s long throw made it three on 75 and Ansu had the last word with his second of the night eleven minutes from time when he swept home from a Dan Forbes cross.


Hinckley based Leicester Road made a fantastic start to their first ever season at step five, but they were pushed back by fellow newcomers Coventry Sphinx before holding on for the three points. Matt Langham put the home side ahead on 10 minutes from close range. Not the cleanest of finishes but it just evaded Tom Cross in the Sphinx goal. Dominic Brennan doubled the lead with another close range finish on 17 minutes and life at the higher level was looking easy for Leicester Road when Tom Smith netted with a superb free-kick after 28. 3-0 it remained at the break but Sphinx came out all guns firing in the second half and pulled back two quick goals through Danny Fraser (53) and Harvey Smith (55). Fraser’s goal netted at the far post after good work from Mo Billy and Smith fired low past the keeper with his left foot from ten yards out to give the Coventry club the momentum, but they couldn’t maintain it enough to punish the home side with an equaliser.


Newport went nap on their return to the UCL as a healthy crowd of 157 cheered them on to a 5-0 win over O.N Chenecks at Willen Road. Alfie Powell headed them into the lead after 38 minutes, but it was in the second half that they really turned the screw. Jake Watkinson added a second on 52, Kieran Barnes made it three ten minutes later, Christian Smailes headed another on 79 and Daryl Smith made it five a minute from time to send the visitors back up the M1 with their tails firmly between their legs.


Potton were another returnee to the league to score five on the opening day, but spare a thought for Jake Newman who netted a hat-trick for the Doughboys only to end up on the losing side as eight goals flew in at the Hutchinson Hollow. Chisom Amadi opened the scoring with a low shot into the far corner from just inside the box on 10 minutes, but Newman drew the visitors level from the penalty spot seven minutes later. Potton took over now though with three goals in seven minutes to take a commanding lead with Sammy Willis firing low past the keeper from the edge of the box on 25, and within two minutes Callum Wilson had headed another from a corner. Loren Maxwell added a fourth for United on 31 minutes to give his side a very comfortable lead into the break. Newman reduced the arrears with his second three minutes into the second half, but Luke Pyman netted a fifth with a great finish that went in off the post on 64 to bring the lead back up to three. Newman completed his personal treble eight minutes from the end but it looks like he could have done with some more support from his teammates and it was Potton who triumphed 5-3.


In the only draw of the week, Lutterworth came from behind to earn a decent looking point at Rugby. Barry Fitzharris put the home side ahead from close range for a debut goal after a good run by Danico Johnson had opened up the Swifts at the back just after the hour, but the ever prolific Tendai Daire levelled the scores three minutes shy of the ninety when he cheekily chipped home from the penalty spot.


Wednesday 4th August 2021



A crowd of 379 watched Coventry United mark their first game in the UCL with a comfortable win over newly promoted Long Buckby. Riley O’Sullivan scored their first goal in their new league with a half-volley flicked over Ash Bodycote on 18 minutes after latching on to a ball over the top and despite a number of other chances it stayed 1-0 at the break. O’Sullivan made good of mix up at the back from Buckby to breakthrough one on one with Bodycote before slotting the ball past the keeper for his second on 49 minutes and shortly afterwards Ryan Ansell had a similar chance for the visitors, but United keeper Francis won this battle. O’Sullivan missed a great chance to complete a hat-trick when he headed wide from a good position, but Coventry did make it three in stoppage time when Taylor Haddow was played through and slotted home to complete a happy first day for the healthy crowd at the Butts Arena.

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