Holbrook Sports 1
Kimberley MW 1
Kimberley Miners Welfare began life at step six with a hard-fought 1-1 draw away to Holbrook Sports.
It’s been a summer of change at The Stag Ground following the appointment of Paul Rawden as first team manager.
Out of the matchday 16 only five of last season’s squad remained, with player of the season Josh Stevenson unavailable.
Kimberley were not fazed by their challenge as Elliot King broke through after just two minutes but his effort was well saved by the home team keeper.
Anthony Gregory caused the home team all sorts of problems and his effort was superbly cleared off the line inside the first five minutes.
Welfare then got the goal their early dominance deserved, Gregory beating the offside trap and coolly slotting home.
Kimberley looked solid at the back and although Holbrook took control of the game, keeper Matt Walsh was left with very little to do.
Kimberley had another good chance before the break as Red Wilmot’s header went just wide.
Holbrook came out stronger in the second-half but again rarely troubled Walsh.
The hosts had a good shout for a penalty turned down in the 72nd minute, but Ian Shepherd and Jacob Webster were leading the Kimberley defence well and it was somewhat harsh on Welfare when the equaliser struck in the 86th minute.
Ryan Fitzhugh’s punt from 30 yards out through a crowd of bodies took an akward bounce that left Walsh with no chance.
Kimberley then had two good chances to win the game, Scott Carlile’s dazzling run having no end product and Richard Dean’s effort going agonisingly wide.
But Kimberley now have a platform to build on and host Greenwood Meadows at the Stag Ground this Saturday with a 3pm kick-off.