Wilmslow Albion 1st XI opened their Manchester Football League Division One account following a successful preseason on Saturday 11th August with Atherton Town the visitors to Oakwood Farm. Atherton had undergone a change in management during the summer and looked like they could be potential favourites for the league title.
Albion started the game brightly taking the game to the visitors without really creating any clear cut chances. Referee Adam Wolstenholme had his work cut out with a couple of firm tackles and backchat earning Atherton two yellow cards in the first half. As the first half entered its final minutes, it was Atherton with the first real chance of the game with a long ball not dealt with by the Albion defence and their striker flashing it wide of the far post. The referee blew his whistle with half time score 0-0.
With the game being a real tight cagey affair, it was clear for those watching whoever scored the first goal would probably go on to win the game, both defences were on top and when Danny Pearson scampered back to clear an Atherton attack off the goal-line, it was from the resulting cross the visitors took the lead with a bullet header leaving goalkeeper Young Lu no chance. 1-0 Atherton.
As Albion tried to respond the Atherton backline held firm with Ben Evans and Connor Thompson all seeing shots just wide of hitting the target. With five minutes left Albion were trying there upmost to score the equaliser, when the visitors countered to make it 2-0 with an exquisite finish into the top corner. In the 90th minute Atherton made it 3-0 when some soft defending allowed their winger to score a tap in. Albion seemingly had collapsed at the back and this allowed the Atherton Striker to add his second with a delightful chip into the goal. Not the start the Oakmen had wanted after a strong preseason.
Final score Albion 0-4 Atherton Town.
After a defeat on the opening day of the season Wilmslow Albion 1st X1 had no time to lick their wounds with Govan Athletic visiting Oakwood Farm on Tuesday 14th August for a 6:45pm kick-off. Govan having drawn there first game of the season 3-3 with Boothstown would be a good test, despite being a newly promoted to Division One.
The game settled into an early midfield battle with no team creating any real clear cut chances, after a lengthy delay for an injury suffered by the Govan winger, the game settled back into life and it was the visitors who struck first, when a wonderful ball to the right saw the Govan winger scamper towards the goal and unleash a magnificent finish to the left of the helpless Young Lu in goals. Albion then tried to respond to this setback with Liam Delaneigh going close seeing his header cleared of the line. Jacob Gresty saw his goalward effort thwarted with a brilliant save by the Govan keeper and the post was hit as Elliot Sutcliffe tried to get Albion back on level terms. The referee blew his whistle with half time score 0-1 Govan.
After a few choice words from the Managers at half-time Albion really began to take the game to the visitors who looked tired in the second half, the equaliser was to come after some wonderful work down the right from Liam Delaneigh saw him fire across the box with Elliot Sutcliffe firing past the helpless Govan Keeper to make the score 1-1.
The half time introduction of Nick Collins in defence for Albion saw the Oakmen really attacking with a vengeance down the left hand side and it would be Collins who sent a 30 yard thunderbolt just wide of the near post after a great run. With Albion now knocking on the door the visitors were penned in their own half; surely the goal would come in the now fading light... however a few counter attacks left the visitors with chances to even win the game themselves.
The game stood at 1-1 with the visitors limited to counter attacks it would seem they were happy with a point when again some wonderful wing play this time by Callum Collinson fire across goal to the advancing Liam Delaneigh whose clinical finish sparked jubilant scenes In the Albion dugout. 2-1 to Albion with 15 minutes left, could they hang on to what would be there first win of the season.
Having survived a penalty appeal at the other end Albion countered with Jacob Gresty driving into the box where an opposition defender could only foul him before Gresty pulled the trigger, up stepped captain Danny Pearson surely to put the game beyond doubt; however this wasn't the case with a weak penalty being saved by the keeper! That's two penalties misses already!
Albion stood firm as Govan produced a real onslaught in the final minutes with another penalty shout being turned away by the referee as the light quickly dimmed in the evening game, the referee blew his whistle in near enough darkness.
Final score Albion 2-1 Govan Athletic, moved Albion up to 7th.
Squad: Lu, Somerville, Plant, Delaneigh, Dodds, Pearson, Gresty, Hewitt, Sutcliffe, Cooper, Collinson, Kennedy, Collins, Green, Fox, Moran.
Match report by Thomas Fox.