By Craig Gealy

Week one in the Nottinghamshire Football Combination League’s 2015/16 season, and we have not been disappointed! The new season has kicked off with a bang – with brand new teams showing their worth, and old favourites making a comeback.

In Division 1, we have seen some impressive victories, with the wins coming from the away teams. Visiting side Radford won 8-5 to home team Lord Nelson – with goals from Liam Honeyman, Adam Pemberton, Matthew Wheat and a double brace from Shawn Evans bringing them ahead in the game. Even with good goals from Shane Speak, Arron Sanders and a hatrick from Sean Allen for Lord Nelson, an unfortunate own goal secured the fate of the game in Radford’s favour. Bear FC retain their fighting form from last season, through a 6-1 away win against returning home side Sycamore St Anns. Otis Wilson fought bravely for the Sycamores, but a goal from Matthew Bishop, a brace from Simon Winson and a hatrick from Bemnet Berhane brought Bear up the table. Phoenix Athletic were the triumphant side, after winning 3-2 away against The Vale. Both teams gave it their all, hoping to put a marker down from week one. The Vale went 1-0 up within five minutes with a fantastic goal from Wade Lees. Phoenix equalised in the first half with a goal from Levi Stewart. Second half, again both teams going for the three points, however Phoenix looked more likely when they went 2-1 up, with an unfortunate own goal from the home side. However, The Vale then equalised when Dom Garcia took it round the keeper and knocked it into the back of the net. With a minute to go, The Vale pressed for the winner with a lovely through ball - seeing Jack Craig in, but the linesman decided to put his flag up, and the referee did not give the goal. Phoenix then took a free kick and Kaiden Burke-Campbell went on to score for his time – shortly followed by the final whistle. Finally, it becomes all tied up between home team AFC Nottingham and Aspley United – with a final score of 1-1, with goals coming from Axel Bangwa and Andrew Barratt respectively.

Division 2 has also shown some quality matches; the first being an away victory of 5-0 for Friar Tuck over Toton Hill. With goals coming from Tom Turner, Peter Opie, Aaron Knight, Chris Denman and Martin Gee, Toton did not stand a chance, and so the Friars clinched those all-important three points to start off their season. Dowlings have begun to turn around their misfortune last season into success after this week’s home win of 5-1 against Reckitt Benckiser. Goals from Kai Lau Thomas and Zeeshan Bhatti gave Dowlings a 2-0 half-time lead - RB scored later on in the match with Dale Hayes getting the ball into the back of the net, but then further goals from Tony Ayton, Barney Waton and Kai Lau Thomas again gave Dowlings the overall victory. Medina came out on top after an away victory over last season’s winners Southbank 3-1. Tahir King scored well for Southbank, but a goal from Saleem Mozley, combined with Ali Khan’s brace gave Medina the advantage. Clifton United continue their winning streak after a 1-0 home victory against Arnold Victory – with a superb goal from Anthony Wood securing the win. Notts United also show their continuity by winning at home 6-3 over Kingswell Rangers II – with goals from Callum Cassey, Mark Armitage, and braces from both Aaron Hardy and James Hunt, Notts United could easily claim the victory.

The newcomers to the league in Division 3 have shown to be very talented from the start of the season – with away side FC Galaxy winning 4-3 over Beeston Mariners as an example. Things looked to be a tie, with goals from Ben Ashley, Liam Hemsley and our very own Craig Gealy for the Mariners, and Shane Barker, Matt Colson and Matt Morrow all scoring for Galaxy. However, an unfortunate own goal from the home side gave FC Galaxy the advantage – allowing them to take the three points. Another new team, FC Eagle, beat Nuthall County after visiting them 7-1. The Eagles looked to be soaring to victory, as they were 4-0 up at half-time, with goals from Paul Bentley, Jake Hutchinson and a brace from Jordan Ward. Nuthall got one back with Ste Jackson, but then a hat trick from Pete Saunders sealed the game in the Eagles' favour. Newly reformed Scorpion United FC won 2-1 away over Gremio. Even with Kyle Stovall scoring from inside the box for Gremio, Michel Bean and Dean Boden really fought back, and gave Scorpion United that sting in the tail their predecessors had. Newly formed Beeston Hornets made their home proud by winning 5-1 against visiting Sports Direct. Ynyelberth Guzman scored well for the away team, but goals from Jake Dickerson, Tom Cowling, Sam Ablott and a brace from Leigh White allowed the Hornets to take the victory. Special mentions to the assists for Beeston Hornets; Paul Brooks, Tom Caine and three assists from Elliot Caine – all of which contributed to the overall win. Finally, Athletico Rangers won 1-0 at home over Duke of St Albans, with Reece Bestwick chipping the ball over the Duke’s goalkeeper to take the match.
Overall, this first week has certainly been enthralling – with many teams showing their fighting spirit from the first matches, leaving us all to wonder what will happen in the coming weeks. With Sunday Senior and Intermediate County Cup matches next week, alongside the regular divisional games, stay tuned to find out the results.

By Tylah Marston

Where next?

County cup take centre stage in the top division Week two, and teams are still giving it their all to try and secure their important three points to add to their lead, or to ensure that they move on to the next round in the County Cups. Many teams have played well this week, and even though only a few m
PHOENIX BEAT ASPLEY IN THE CUP!! ASPELY HOWEVER WIN THE LEAGUE. Phoenix beat Aspley in the senior cup on Thursday going in at half time to a solitary goal lead but thanks to good defending and last minute goals gave Phoenix a 3-0 win. however Aspley Reply by beating Sports Direct to become the Premier League Champions

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