The three newly-promoted teams in EVO-STIK League South all kicked off the 2017-18 season with home wins, writes Pitchero's Steve Whitney.
Alvechurch, re-formed in 1994 and last season`s winners of the Midland League, won 3-1 at Lye Meadow against Leek Town, with Luke Yates having the honour of scoring the opener after 13 minutes. Josh March added a second for Church on the hour-mark and Tom Turton's penalty nine minutes later, rendered Tim Grice`s 74th minute reply as just a consolation for the visitors.
Cleethorpes Town, Northern Counties East League champions and Buildbase FA Vase finalists, won 4-1 at home to Gresley FC, scoring twice in each half thanks to a Josh Eggington own goal, Matt Bloomer and then Andy Taylor and Alex Flett.
Peterborough Sports, winners of the United Counties and, like Cleethorpes, playing at this level for the first time, were comfortable 3-0 home winners over Kidsgrove Athletic. Former Boston United forward Mark Jones bagged a brace for Sports in the 8th and 46th minutes, with Lewis Webb making it game over on 56 minutes.
Corby Town and Frickley Athletic, who both came down from the Premier Division, also began with opening day wins.
The Steelmen, fancied to go straight back up, had a crowd of 402 for their 5-1 romp at Steel Park against Romulus. Sam Mulready bagged a brace in the fourth and 64th minutes, with Kern Miller on 25 minutes, Jack McGovern on 37 minutes and Jordon Crawford 18 minutes from time, outgunning Malachi Farquharson`s 18th minute reply.
Frickley were 1-0 winners at the Lyme Valley Stadium against Newcastle Town, courtesy of Gavin Allott`s 69th minute effort.
Lewis Carr scored the only goal 20 minutes from time to earn Basford United victory at Christchurch Meadow against Belper Town, while Cenk Acar and Gary King scored in either half to give Spalding United victory at Bracken Moor against Stocksbridge Park Steels.
Luke Thorogood bagged a brace to help Loughborough Dynamo to an opening day win at home to Bedworth United. Thorogood`s brace was sandwiched by Luke Smithson, with Kai Williams and Jackson Downie replying for the Greenbacks.
Phil Watt put Lincoln United one-up after 37 minutes at Chasetown. Matt Cotton added a second for the visitors just before the hour-mark, and although Will Whieldon pulled one back for the Scholars 11 minutes from time, a third from Jack Wightwick less than a minute later sealed the Whites success.
Carlton Town enjoyed a comprehensive 3-0 home win over Sheffield FC, thanks to a Danny Gordon penalty just before the break, a debut goal for Wilfried Gnahore on 66 minutes and a second spot-kick, this time from Aaron Hooton in stoppage time.
Elsehwere, the game between Market Drayton Town and Stamford AFC finished goalless.