HOLBEACH United slipped to a 1-0 defeat at promoted Kempston Rovers on the opening day of the United Counties League Premier Division season, while Spalding United drew 1-1 at Northampton Spencer and Deeping Rangers beat Thrapston Town 1-0.
Billed among the favourites for the title, John Chand’s Tigers failed to hit the ground running against the Division One champions on Saturday.
Chand admitted that his side had “enough chances to win three games” at Hillgrounds Road, but they were hit by a second-half sucker-punch.
Meanwhile, defender Gary Pawson rescued a point for the Tulips as they were held on their return to the UCL.
Spencer had taken the lead against Andy Stanhope’s charges, only for Pawson to jump off the bench and earn a point for his side.
There was better news for Deeping Rangers, who edged out Thrapston in a tight tussle at Outgang Road.
Josh Moreman’s 27th minute header from a Mark Jones cross was enough to secure the spoils for Tuncay Korkmaz’s men, who were just about value for the three points.
Title favourites King’s Lynn Town FC smashed Irchester United 6-1 at The Walks, while Boston Town earned a super 3-0 win at Newport Pagnell Town.
Down in UCL Division One, Bourne Town registered a 1-1 draw with Northampton ON Chenecks at the Abbey Lawn.
In the Peterborough Premier Division, Pinchbeck United’s title charge was dealt the earliest of blows by King’s Cliffe.
Mark Lovelace put Pinchbeck ahead in the first half at Knight Street, only for Andrew Bradley and Martin Ward to clinch a 2-1 win for the visitors.
Crowland Town also made a losing start as they were beaten 1-0 by league new boys St Neots Town Reserves.
Elsewhere, Deeping Rangers Reserves won 2-1 at Buckminster in the Ancaster Cup.
See Tuesday’s Lincolnshire Free Press for reaction from all the weekend’s football.
UCL Premier Division: Kempston Rovers 1 Holbeach Utd 0; Blackstones 3 Daventry United 1; Deeping Rangers 1 Thrapston Town 0; Desborough Town 1 Peterborough Northern Star 1; King’s Lynn Town 6 Irchester United 1; Newport Pagnell Town 0 Boston Town 3; Northampton Spencer 1 Spalding Utd 1; St Ives Town 0 Long Buckby 4; S & L Corby 2 Yaxley 1; Wellingborough Town 6 Sleaford Town 0.
UCL Division One: Bourne Town 1 Northampton ON Chenecks 1; Burton Park Wanderers 2 Potton United 2; Olney Town 3 Northampton Sileby Rangers 2; Rothwell Corinthians 1 Huntingdon Town 1; Rothwell Town 0 Wellingborough Whitworth 0; Rushden & Higham United 0 Eynesbury Rovers 1; Wootton Blue Cross 0 Bugbrooke St Michaels 2.
Peterborough Premier Division: Crowland Town 0 St Neots Town Reserves 1; Oundle Town 2 Whittlesey United 1; Pinchbeck United 1 Kings Cliffe United 2; Uppingham Town 2 Coates Athletic 3.