A new-look league

The 2011/12 season kicked off on Sunday with 14 league games and there were two teams in the Lincs County Sunday Cup.

There are 40 teams in the league this season and it was decided at the AGM to have four divisions with 10 teams in each.

The top division has been named the Premier with Divisions One, Two and Three following.

In the Premier Division MUSC from Harworth, who had such an impressive record last season, were given a big shock on the opening day of this one when Clumber EFC, formerly Elkesley FC, showed they really mean business as they won away from home 6-0.

This was a really impressive performance from Clumber EFC who totally dominated a game where they looked the part as genuine title challengers.

Real Ropery, who for the most part had a very good last season, showed they mean to be a serious threat to everyone this time as they won 5-2 away at Kings Arms.

This was a very good attacking performance by what is now the only team from Gainsborough in the top division.

Ranby Prison is always a difficult place to play as they are likely at any given time to have some very good local footballers available to pick from and it fell to Leverton United to be the first visitors of the season to play Ranby Rangers, Leverton United certainly gave a good account of themselves but better finishing from Ranby saw them claim all three points after a 5-2 victory.

In Division One last season’s relegated team from the top division, East Markham, showed they will be a threat in this division and they were too good on the day for Grove Mill who did not look on this performance quite as good as last season. East Markham were worthy winners by 5 goals to 1.

New team BFC Birches missed early chances at home to Marshalls Sports and were made to pay when the Gainsborough team scored twice to take the points from a close game. Beckett Arms, who at times last season were as good as anyone in the division, could not replicate that form when they entertained Kings Arms Reserves who just edged a close game by 3-2 to seal an opening day win.

In Division Two new boys Moorends Social Club played away at what is probably their nearest opponents in this division, Cross Keys Wroot, and returned home with all three points after a 5-2 win. Again, the better finishing of Moorends proved to be the difference.

Epworth FC, who have changed their name from Mowbray Arms, played Clarborough FC, who have also changed their name from Boat Inn Hayton, and it was Clarborough who just edged a close contest 3-2 after a game where both teams created enough chances to win the match.

Gate Inn Sutton opened with a 3-1 defeat of Horse and jockey to give their season a confident start and they will definitely hope this is a sign of the season to come.

With several new teams in Division Three it will probably take a few weeks to find out who the likely strong teams are in this division.

New boys Peacock Veterans must be overjoyed at their start after a thoroughly convincing win at fellow new team Vine Inn FC. A resounding 7-1 scoreline indicates just how impressive Peacock Veteran were.

Stanwood Engineering have had to rebuild their team after several players left to join new boys Walkeringham and it was Stanwood’s newly rebuilt team who had much the better first day of the season, recording a very impressive 8-4 away win at Brickmakers Arms who are a new team this season.

Walkeringham were no match for BRSA from Retford who have been largely formed out of last season’s FC Babworth and if the opening day is anything to go by BRSA look to have improved and a 5-1 win in no way flattered them.

The all-Isle of Axholme game between Kings Arms Thirds and Owston Ferry SC was as good as over before half-time as Kings Arms Thirds raced into a six-goal lead. A better second half from Owston Ferry saw the final score 8-3 but the damage had been done in the first half.

New teams Jack and Jill and King and Miller shared the points after a 1-1 draw and with neither team able to take the upper hand a draw was probably a fair result.

Results for Sunday 4th September: Premier League - Kings Arms 2, Real Ropery 5; MUSC 0, Clumber EFC 6; Ranby Rangers 5, Leverton Utd 2. Division One - Beckett Arms 2, Kings Arms Res 3; BFC Birches 0, Marshalls Sports 2; Grove Mill 1, East Markham 5. Division Two - Cross Keys Wroot 2, Moorends Social Club 5; Gate Inn Sutton 3, Horse and Jockey 1; Epworth FC 2, Clarborough FC 3. Division Three - BRSA 5, Walkeringham 5; Brickmakers Arms 4, Stanwood Engineering 8; Jack and Jill 1, King and Miller 1; Kings Arms 3rds 8, Owston Ferry SC 3; Vine Inn FC 1, Peacock Veterans 7. Lincolnshire County Sunday Cup Round One - Canutes 5, White Lion Grantham 1; Ingleby Arms 5, Digby Red Lion 0.

Fixtures for Sunday 11th September: Premier League - Leverton Utd v FS Clumber; Mattersey v Ranby Rangers; Rose and Crown v MUSC; Vine Inn Athletic v Kings Arms. Division One - East Markham v BFC Birches; Kings Arms Res v Grove Mill; Maltings FC v Canutes. Division Two - Clarborough v Gate Inn Sutton; Cross Keys Wroot v Horse and Jockey; Moorends Social Club v Misterton United; Epworth FC v Ingleby Arms; Tuxford WMC v White Horse. Division Three - King and Miller v Kings Arms 3rds; Owston Ferry SC v Vine Inn FC; Stanwood Engineering v BRSA; Walkeringham v Jack and Jill.

Results from the first Saturday of the Gainsborough and District Football League: Fox and Hounds 3, Haxey FC 1; Harworth Colliery 3, Retford Town 1; Mattersey FC 5, Gainsborough Town Canute Res 0.

Fixtures for Saturday 10th September: BFC Birches v Gainsborough Town Canute; Mattersey FC v Bridon AFC; Retford Town v Fox and Hounds.