Saturday saw the start of the new English Football League and North West Counties League respectively. Local teams were involved in both.
There was huge disappointment at the bet365 stadium where The Potters slumped to a 2-1 home defeat against QPR in their opening day fixture in the Skybet Championship. Stoke found themselves 2-0 down before Sam Clucas pulled a goal back for the home side. Stoke manager Nathan Jones will take some positives from the last 30 minutes of the game where his side showed some spirit and pushed for an equaliser.
Better news for Port Vale in Skybet League Two – they travelled to Colchester and came away with a credible 1-1 draw having taken the lead after just 5 minutes courtesy of a Tom Pope penalty. The Valiants couldn’t hold on to their lead however – Norris levelled for the Essex side just before half time.
Macclesfield Town made the long trip down to Devon to face Exeter. Their supporters cream teas were spoiled somewhat as Macc lost to the only goal of the game.
Leek Town faced opposition from a league higher at Harrison Park as they welcomed Buxton in a pre-season friendly. A Jake Twyford brace secured The Blues a victory. Buxton did pull a goal back late on but it was Baker’s Boys who took the glory.
Not great news for Newcastle Town as they hosted Ramsbottom United also in a friendly. The home side were 3-0 down in no time but managed to keep the score at that when a drubbing seemed inevitable.
The North West Counties Premier Division saw both of our local sides claim a draw in their respective season openers. Hanley Town were away at Bootle and managed a 1-1 draw whilst Congleton Town finished 3-3 at Barnoldswick Town.
In the North West Counties 1st Division South, Abbey Hulton United were hammered 4-0 at home by FC Owestry. Alsager Town went down 2-1 at home to Maine Road.
In the North Staffordshire and South Cheshire Cricket League Premier Division Ashcombe Park were beaten at home by Stone CC in our live commentary game. It was much better news for Leek CC though as they beat Longton CC at Longton convincingly to take them up into 3rd place in the table.