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City win season opener

The Lilywhites returned to action in the Northern Premier League with a close fought victory over a Gresley Rovers team who look much improved since the previous campaign.

The away side had the better of the first exchanges and took a deserved lead on 27 minutes. The City defence was caught napping resulting in Gresley frontman Kane Lee nipping in to lob the ball over Joe Welch from close range.

It wasn't long before City drew level though, Jake Battersby turned his man inside out and whipped a ball in with this right foot. Eventual Man of the Match winner, Stef Broccoli made a brilliant run in between the towering Gresley Centre-backs so he could get a head on the cross. The deft flick looped over the despairing Gresley keeper who had no chance and City were level.

Just 4 minutes later and City were in front. Again, it was Jake Battersby who this time, beat his man to the by-line, the cross found the head of Stan Leech who was denied a certain first league goal for the club by a clear and deliberate handball on the line, but Broccoli was on hand to smash the ball in from 1 yard. Red card or not? one of those double jeopardy decisions.....answers on a postcard please.......

City came out in the second half looking sluggish, Gresley enjoying the lion's share of possession and it paid off on 55 minutes when Dexter Dudley-Toole rose highest at the far post to head back across the goal and into the far corner. It was nothing less than Rovers deserved but the goal did bring City back to life. With both sides going for the win, there were chances at both ends.

Robbie made the all important change on 64 mins, Ryan Ingrey coming on to replace Stan Leech. The City frontman immediately made an impact with his strength and hold-up play.

2 debutants also came on 6 mins later with City searching for that vital winning goal. Peterborough United loanee came on for Dan Cotton and new signing Bradley Rolt replaced Jake Battersby, but it was Ingrey who was in the right place at the right time following more excellent work from Broccoli. He surged into the box from the right, laid the ball off to Ingrey who's left footed shot took a cruel deflection off the Gresley Centre back, wrong-footing and lobbing the keeper.

An entertaining game came to an end with City coming on top, Gresley will probably have left feeling a little hard done by, but with 3 points in the bank, we're up and running and now face an away trip to Harborough Town on Tuesday night. The Bees were soundly beaten in their opener so we'll be going into the game full of confidence.

Catch the goals on our You Tube Channel.

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