Charnock Richard hit the ground running in their defence of their West Lancashire League Premier Division title with a battling victory against Fleetwood Hesketh.
A solitary strike from David Burrows just after the hour mark sealed all three points for Andy Westwell’s side against a Fleetwood side which finished third last year.
Fleetwood made an impact from kick-off, charging into the penalty area and David Brooks’ cross was almost converted.
And the visitors maintained their lively start, pinning Charnock back in their own half.
Charnock responded with Mark Woods charging forward and giving Burrows a chance to shoot, but the ball was deflected for a
corner, and the resulting set-piece saw Andy Roberts’ effort glance wide of the far post.
Both sides exchanged chances taking advantage of sloppy play, Woods coming the closest when hitting an effort just wide.
The game continued to be a midfield battle in the second half.
Burrows saw an effort trickle wide and a looping cross dropped over the head of Liam Hayton and just went wide of Gavin Bates’ goal.
Matt Mawdesley saw his effort saved but minutes later he found Burrows in the box and after two blocked efforts it was third time lucky as his scuffed effort rolled into the net.
Charnock keeper Bates then turned a point-blank effort over, and then in the final 10 minutes he again turned an effort wide.
Danny Nolan twice missed chances late on to seal the points for Charnock as the visitors still searched for an equaliser.
Fleetwood piled the pressure on in the final seconds but Charnock refused to just hold on to the ball as they searched for the all important second goal.
Despite having to defend a number of high balls, Charnock held on for the win.
Jordan Horner was thehat-trick hero for Euxton Villa as Mark McDonnell’s side thrashed newly-promoted Hesketh Bank 7-1 in the Premier Division of the West Lancashire League.
Byron Andrew, Dan Morris, Rick Wilson and Danny Marland also got on the scoresheet for Villa in a fine opening-day victory.
Villa’s season got off to a flying start as from the kick-off, Mark Swift sent through a defence-splitting ball that Horner latched on to before slotting the ball past the advancing keeper.
And things quickly became more difficult for the visitors when, after eight minutes, Wilson was upended on the edge of the box, and Andrew stepped up to bend a low free-kick round the wall and into the bottom corner.
Kevin Cox hit back for Hesketh Bank taking advantage of a defensive lapse.
Horner restored the two-goal leasd by pouncing on a loose ball and he could have had a first-half hat-trick but his effort shaved the post.
Villa should have had a penalty in the second half after Dave Heald was bundled over but the referee waved away the penalty claim.
Horner, Andrew and Wilson all came close before the pressure finally told as Morris danced his way into the area before finishing well.
Horner finally completed his hat-trick with an outstanding low glancing header from an Andrew corner.
Midway through the half, Wilson capped an outstanding performance with a stunning low controlled volley that found the bottom corner with ease.
Mark Swift and Danny Marland both had goals chalked off.
However, as the match entered stoppage time, the latter fired a shot into the ground which looped over the keeper to round off a fine afternoon.
Dave Haughton’s Coppull United slipped to an opening-day Premier Division defeat against Slyne with Hest.
Danny Fishwick scored late on in the second half, but the damage was already done as Slyne debutant Marc Murphy bagged goals in the first and second half to seal a 2-1 victory.
The game was very tight for the first 20 minutes with both teams trying to get back into full flow after the pre-season.
A quick free-kick split the defence for Alan Jackson to square the ball to Murphy and score the first goal for Slyne on the half hour mark.
The second half started with Coppull making a tactical change. playing just one up front and flooding the midfield.
But Garwood broke again down the left and crossed to set up Murphy for his second goal of the day with a cool finish.
A lack of concentration allowed Fishwick to sneak in and head home to make the final 20 minutes of the game rather nervy.
But Slyne held on well and if not for the woodwork, Tom Entwistle would have scored a magnificent free-kick to restore their two-goal advantage.
Leyland United opened their Division Two account in fine fashion thrashing Haslingden St Mary’s 5-2.
In manager Kenny Mayers’ first full season, his pre-season impetus looks to have paid off as they thrashed their East Lancashire opponents.
Michael Hindle bagged two goals for United with the prolific Ryan Greenwood, Michael Benson and new signing Chris Potts also getting on the scoresheet for Mayers’ team.
Tom Hughes and Sam Saunders hit back for Haslingden.
But the damage was already done as Leyland cruised home to a comfortable victory and seal the first three points of the season.
This coming Saturday, Leyland travel to Barrow Wanderers.