Atherton LR 1-2 Cheadle Town

If only we could start seasons every week.

I make no apologies for the oxymoron; we haven't lost our opening competitive fixture for the past ten seasons now.

The casual observer might have put sound money on that run being ended at Atherton LR today. Us with the spine of last season's squad now elsewhere and going into this match with LR - themselves boasting a whole new raft of players - on the back of a mixed bag of results in pre-season.

But hey, we won.

What we may have lacked in pace, height and chance-to-goal conversion today we made up for in spades with patience, measurement and organisation.

The match was evenly-balanced with very little to write home about for the first 26 minutes until the two Sherringtons fashioned the first clear-cut chance; Chris' run to the edge of the box seeing his effort blocked with the loose ball running to an unmanned Mike who blazed over with the goal almost at his mercy.

Chris was instrumental in opening our account just six minutes later.

His cross from wide out on the left was gathered by Rick Whyatt in the box who had time to adjust his feet and plant home into the corner of the net.

Mike Sherrington then really should have made it 2-0 seven minutes later. He was put in on goal and had rounded the keeper successfully but somehow took too long to decide what to do thus allowing the LR defence to smuggle away the danger.

The disappointment didn't last long.

From the resulting corner Aaron Fleming rose at the near post to power in an unstoppable header.

And then it should have been 3-0 shortly before half-time.

Rick Whyatt found himself all alone in the area with the ball at his feet after everybody else had stopped, waiting for an offside flag that never came. Perhaps he had to much time to think as his effort was skied harmlessly.

LR applied more pressure in the second half but they were gifted their foothold back into the game on 58 minutes.

Ryan Allcock placed a clearance straight to the feet of an LR forward who then had the simple task of squaring it for Kidd for an easy tap-in.

Straight after that Ben Christopher almost restored our two-goal advantage but the LR keeper made a wonderful fingertip save over the bar.

Substitutes came and went for both sides as they both went for the all-important next goal with us having two more gilt-edged chances to wrap it up; both George Clarey and Ben Christopher were clean through on goal only to be thwarted by some excellent keeping.

Creases to iron out but the perfect start. Onwards to our next task: the visit of Alsager Town this Wednesday evening.

TEAM: Allcock, Dunn, Fleming, Brocklehurst (Delaney), Harrison, Shaw, Christopher (Caldecott), Wood, M Sherrington (Clarey), Whyatt, C Sherrington. SUBS: Piggott (gk), Clarey, Delaney, Caldecott.