Cambs Kershaw Premier Division
Chatteris Town 0 Eaton Socon 1
If the result was anything to go by, this was typically a tightly-contested affair between two of last season’s top five sides on Tuesday (Aug 15), writes Dan Mason.
Both sides were committed to finding that elusive first goal, but it was the Lilies who had to pay the price for a rare defensive error on a warm opening evening to the new campaign.
The hosts were lively, energetic and committed with flying tackles aplenty in the first period, but were not fruitful where it mattered most.
Opportunities were spurned and no real openings were created, with three particular chances coming closest to a break-through. Live-wire winger Alex Ashley narrowly missed the bottom-left on 24 minutes, Scott Callaghan had a deflected effort acrobatically tipped over from distance four minutes later and forward Ben Matthews saw his fierce drive from roughly 15 yards eventually grasped upon 11 minutes before the end.
It was not all Lilies dominance though, Socon striker Lee Bassett’s free-kick tipped onto a post by home goalkeeper Ryan Rayner on 16 minutes as the visitors looked increasingly threatening on the front foot.
Town’s shot-stopper was the busier of the two ‘keepers after the break, saving with his legs and having to prevent any danger from numerous Socon corners.
But amid attempts from Ashley Taylor’s men to regain control and Socon penalty claims ignored, the visitors’ pressure finally paid off.
Static Lilies defending from Rayner’s initial parry following a distant effort was not dealt with, and Owen Dixon was on hand to drive home into the bottom-right from close on 81 minutes.
There was still time for Town to rescue something, but probing in the final third came to no avail as they were left to ponder on what could have been.
Lilies: Ryan Rayner, Lee Barnett, Dean Grogan, Simon Howard, Dean Saunders (sub Adam Parmenter, 82mins), Scott Callaghan, Aidan Hollis (sub Tony Brown, 82’), Josh Dodman, Gary Smith, Alex Ashley (sub Matt Walshe, 72’), Ben Matthews (capt). Unused subs: Ben Collett, Dave Turnbull.
Goal: Eaton Socon – Dixon (81’).
Cautions: Chatteris Town – Saunders (foul).