Redcar Town won a hard fought opening game of the brand new North Riding Football League Premier Division against last season's Teesside League champions Boro Rangers. Clark Reader scored the game's only goal on 18 minutes. Town had further chances to increase their lead but good goalkeeping kept the lead to 1-0 at half time. Rangers upped their game in the second half and Town had to battle hard to stay in front but managed to close the game out to win the new league's early encounter.
Boro Rangers manager Ben Wheatley and Redcar Town secretary Derek Hartas (right) with Paul Conway (centre), the North Riding FA chairman.
It was also a good afternoon across town, in heavy rain, for Redcar Newmarket who hit five at Nunthorpe Athletic. Jamie Graham's hat-trick, Michael Towse's goal and Andy Tullock's late strike made sure of the victory. The rampant visitors notched three times in four minutes in a frenetic last ten, which also saw Jack Bennett score for the hosts.
Elsewhere, it was an eight-goal thriller at Guisborough United who shared the points with visitors St Marys 1947. The Middlesbrough outfit notched through Ben Cotts' brace and further strikes from Ryan Mackey and Paul Vaughan. Paul Jack had got Guisborough back into the game, followed by two Liam Cooper goals either side of half time. Niall Crawley netted a late fourth for Guisborough.
Another cracking match played in a great spirit saw Yarm & Eaglescliffe lose their debut game 4-3 to an impressive Grangetown Boys Club. Yarm's Calum Stevens struck the opener, but that was soon cancelled out by Ryan Thompson's free-kick. Michael Pickles' quickfire brace made it 3-1 Grangetown at the break. Paul Davies pulled it back to 3-2 but Pickles' hat-trick goal, ensured Louis Whensley's strike was a mere consolation.
Finally, it was a more sedate affair at Stockton West End where a late goal took the spoils for Billingham Town Reserves. Chris Carlton was the match winner striking the only goal, five minutes from time.
NORTH RIDING FOOTBALL LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION
Redcar Town (Reader) 1-0 Boro Rangers
Guisborough United (Cooper 2, Jack, Crawley) 4-4 St Marys 1947 (Cotts 2, Mackey, Vaughan)
Nunthorpe Athletic (Bennett) 1-5 Redcar Newmarket (Graham 3, Towse, Tullock)
Stockton West End 0-1 Billingham Town Reserves (Carlton)
Yarm & Eaglescliffe (Stevens, Davies, Whensley) 3-4 Grangetown Boys Club (Pickles (3), Thompson)