St Johns open the season with victory over Portishead

PUBLISHED: 09:10 18 August 2017 | UPDATED: 09:10 18 August 2017

Football.

Football.

Archant

Weston St Johns opened the new season with victory over Portishead Town, last season’s runners-up.

Weston St Johns 2

Portishead Town 1

Weston St Johns took to a return to Division 1 like ducks to water with an opening day victory over last season’s runners-up Portishead Town.

Saints started on the front foot, dominating possession and took the lead after five minutes with a shot from the edge of the area courtesy of Lee Stephenson.

A momentary lapse of concentration saw the visitors draw level through Colin Toms moments before the break, but St. Johns raced out of the blocks once more as the second period started.

After Paul Marsh had hit the bar with a header, Wayne Neilson was in the right place at the right time with a back post header to restore the advantage.

The team drew plaudits for a great performance by all, but joint managers Daniel Owens and Paul Marsh selected Ashley Martin as their choice for man of the match, an accolade which was kindly sponsored by Flash and Flash.

On Saturday, Saints travel to Burnham and Highbridge (3pm), while on Tuesday they visit Yatton and Cleeve United (6.30pm).

Yatton and Cleeve Utd 1

Uphill Castle 3

Uphill Castle turned party poopers in Yatton and Cleeve United’s first competitive fixture, at the same time signalling their own intentions.

Samuel Beresford gave the visitors the lead on five minutes before Jordan Elliot doubled the advantage with 20 minutes played. Michael Lee received a red card for a reckless challenge for the home side five minutes later and the Castle were firmly in the ascendancy.

Jack Askins made it three early in the second half, with Joshua Gibbs pulling back what was to prove merely a consolation. Gibbs and Grant Evans both went close late on, but it wasn’t to be for the home side in what should have been a day of celebration.

The man of the match award kindly sponsored by Sytner Mercedes-Benz of Bridge Road, Weston, went to Samuel Beresford,with the presentation being made by Luke Bryant.

The Castle face two games on the road within the space of five days. On Saturday, they travel to Winscombe (3pm), while on Tuesday they visit Burnham United (6.30pm) in more league action.

Banwell 3

Chew Magna 1

Banwell looked to begin the new campaign in style at their new-look Riverside Stadium under the management of Simon Cross and Mark Pennington.

In the 11th minute, Grant Evans played a superb one-two with Tom Vowles and ran into the box to open the scoring. The game began to open up a bit and Chew equalised from a free kick. Late in the half, Jack Butterfield hit the bar with a volley.

The second half began as the first had ended, with Banwell dominating play. On the hour, Dylan York floated a corner for Vowles to nod the ball past the helpless Chew goalkeeper to restore Banwell’s lead.

The game continued with both teams having chances. Adam Green in the Banwell goal made some superb saves which ensured that the home side kept the lead.

With 10 minutes remaining, George Darch was brought on for his first team debut for Banwell first team at the age of 16. With his first touch of the ball, he delivered a fine ball to the feet of Vowles, who turned his defender and netted his second of the game and Banwell’s third.

Man of the match presented by club chairman Paul White, was awarded to Grant Evans.

Brislington 10

Kewstoke Lions 0

With the large majority of the first team squad having deserted the club in the days leading up to the season, just getting a team on the pitch for the league opener was the only aim for Kewstoke.

Great praise must go to manager Scott Gallagher who endured a fraught few days, but managed to get a squad together, along with a number of players who stepped up from the Reserves and coped admirably in difficult circumstances.

Joseph Fennell, Harry Cox and Christian Jones all stepped up from the Under-18s for their first taste of senior football and acquitted themselves well.

The man of the match award, kindly sponsored by Nightingales Removals was shared by the squad.

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