REPORT: Trojans settle for draw in season opener

The NCEL Premier League got underway at Plumpton Park in hard hitting fashion as Staveley Miners Welfare battled for a point against a rough and ready Eccleshill United side.

The Trojans looked to go even better than last seasons 7th placed finish, with promotion surely on the minds of those at Inkersall Road.

Staveley also looked to take three points from their opponents following a 2-2 and 3-3 draw with Eccleshill last season.

Just 9 minutes into the game Staveley were unfortunate to have not taken the lead when Matty Parkin's header at the back post was denied by the woodwork having beaten the Eagles keeper, Bradley Emmerson.

Despite Staveley having the better of the chances it was the home side who drew first blood. Confusion amongst the Staveley defence left Nathan Woodward with just Myles Wright to beat and he confidently placed the ball in between the legs of the Trojans' keeper to put his side ahead.

A fired up Staveley side went from strength to strength when creating chances and when Michael Burke's pass across the face of goal it looked like an equaliser was all but guaranteed, but Tomas Poole's effort was well saved by Emmerson once again.

With Eccleshill on the back foot it looked like only a matter of time before Staveley would open their account for the season.

That came when Tomas Poole was left through on goal, he squared the ball past Emmerson to strike-partner, Michael Burke, who placed the ball into the empty goal to even the scoring.

From here, tempers flared and things got out of hand with referee, Luke Lazenby, struggling to take control of the two sides.

Eccleshill's target man, Chris Lever could consider himself lucky to have not seen red when his late lunge on Trojans skipper, Sam Finlaw, was only deemed worthy of a yellow card by Lazenby.

The second-half brought more bookings with Ryan Hargreaves diving in late on Pat Lindley resulting in a clear booking and Emmerson who pulled Lindley's shirt in an unsuccessful attempt to show himself as a sweeper-keeper.

The resulting free-kick allowed Emmerson to redeem himself as Adam Lund's header looked destined from the bottom corner until the Eccleshill goalkeeper incredibly managed to get down and claw it out.

Eccleshill United: Emmerson, Stor, Marsh (Omolokun 53), Sugden, Stimpson, Basi (C), Hargreaves (Kroma 83), Woodward, Lever, Irving, Buchannan (Charlton 76).

Staveley Miners Welfare: Wright, Slack, Dudley, Finlaw (C), Cheeseman, Lund, Parkin (Morley 68), Poole (Kay 83), Burke, Lindley.

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