Manchester League, Division One
Westbury Sports Club 3 Hollinwood 4 (att 18)
After Friday's long and testing drive to Norfolk and back I wanted a more local game, and a visit to Manchester League newcomers Westbury, for their opening game, fitted the bill perfectly.
Westbury Sports Club are based in Bury, in west Bury to be precise, which presumably accounts for the name. I think this is their first season in adult football, and they competed well against a Hollinwood side well established at this level.
The first half was terrific entertainment for the neutral. Three times Westbury went in front, and three times Hollinwood equalised. It's fair to say both sides were better going forward than defending, but defensive lapses can make an enjoyable game.
In the first minute of the second half the home keeper, who'd made some good saves, spilled a long-range shot and Hollinwood reacted first, a forward rushing in to stab the ball over the line for what turned out to be the winner.
Westbury had more than enough chances to get what would have been a deserved point, but in the end Hollinwood's experience showed as they held on to win.
Westbury Sports Club play at a ground known as Wellington Barracks, at the end of a suburban cul-de-sac called Bexley Drive. From the changing rooms players cross a junior pitch at climb to a plateau where the main pitch runs widthways. Surprisingly for a Manchester League game, the pitch was neither railed nor roped off.