Mersham put down marker
Premier Division SPORTS EDGE CHAMPIONS MARKET HOTEL IN PREMIER DIVISION OPENER
Mersham Sports showed that they mean business this season with an opening day victory at last season’s champions Market Hotel.
Rob Clark scored twice for the villagers in the 4-3 win, while Ewan Stanley and Tom Poyner added further goals to secure the win.
Market, who missed the chance to draw level when Ryan Smith’s penalty flew over the bar, replied through Paul Burt, Steve Harris and former Mersham midfielder Craig Calvert.
Market manager Liam Smith admitted that Mersham, led by Lewis Butler, defended well and deserved the three points.
Troggs started life back in the top flight after a lengthy absence with a 5-1 win against depleted Aldington at Cornes Meadow.
The Smarden side, who have lost forwards Brad Burton and Jordan King to Hamstreet, proved that they still have plenty of fire-power as Ben Forbes hit a hat-trick and Michael Harvey the other two goals.
Tommy Lockett pulled one back for Aldington.
Hayden Slade rescued a point for newly-promoted AFC Locomotive with a late header as they drew 1-1 with Brewmaster.
The Brews went ahead after half an hour when Rhys Morrison played in youngster Harry Stow to slot home. Loco keeper Ben Stevens was in fine form making several good saves. Sunday couldn’t be separated as they drew 0-0. Nell-Hughes’ strike.
Promoted side Appledore drew 2-2 at home to Grasshoppers.
Jim Brazil gave Appledore a 1-0 half-time lead before Rhys Hodges added a second for Jim Kelly’s side.
But any hopes of an openingday victory were dashed when Frankie Steer netted twice for the Hoppers as the points were shared.
Jack Bundock netted against his former club as Lolzors began life in Division 2 with a 4-1 win at Willesborough Reserves.
Bundock, approaching 250 Sunday League goals at the age of just 26, helped Lolzors to a sixth successive league victory, scoring one to accompany additional strikes from Justin Howard, John Jarvis and former Marsh Athletic midfielder Mike Robinson.
Michael Dryland pulled a goal back for Willesborough. Pitchside. Adam Bellman scored five times for his new club, while Boorman also found the net on his debut after arriving from Appledore.
Luke Goddard and Adam Fairclough added the seventh and eighth goals to wrap up the biggest win of the day.
Troggs Reserves also picked up a decent away victory as they mirrored their first team in putting five past Aldington’s reserve side.
Jessie Pearce grabbed a hattrick, with Ben Johnson and an own goal completing the scoring.
Givaudan won 5- 1 win at newcomers Ashford United Colts to pick up three points after relegation last season. Mark Hopkinson and Aiden Shell both struck twice.
Alex Shell added a fifth for Givaudan, with Liam Giff pulling a goal back for Colts.
Ashstone Galacticos beat Kingsnorth Pilgrims 4-2 in their first competitive game back in the league.
The Charing Heath-based team are related to the old Galacticos club that went from Division 4 to Division 1 in the late 2000s. Mark Howells and Daniel Pinder both scored twice, while Jon Marchant netted twice for Pilgrims.
The Plough Inn’s first game as l eague members will be remembered for different reasons after their fixture at neighbours Stour Valley was abandoned after 68 minutes due to a serious injury.
Valley player-manager Steve Beeching suffered a double leg break midway through the second half with his side leading 4-3 and the game was ended prematurely as the defender received treatment on t he pitch awaiting t he ambulance.
Plough did score through Sam Callander, Robert Tanner and Richard Braybrook but the outcome of the game was due to be decided at Tuesday’s League Council meeting. Beeching, who will spend a lengthy stay in hospital ahead of an operation later this week, is expected to miss the rest of the season.