Ambergate FC’s Midlands Regional Alliance Division One season started with a 2-1 defeat to Wirksworth Ivanhoe.
Ambergate began the game defending against the slope at Wirksworth’s ground as Ivanhoe piled on a lot of early pressure.
The first chance came from a long throw from the left which was flicked on by an Ivanhoe forward and missed by goalkeeper Adam Bannister but Tom Smith headed away on the goalline.
Bannister redeemed himself minutes later as he pulled off a top drawer save from a volley ten yards out.
The deadlock was broken after 20 minutes as Ivanhoe scored direct from a free-kick on the edge of the area.
The goal seemed to spark Ambergate into life and Richard West and Tom Aston started causing problems on either wing.
It was Aston who got the equaliser as a free kick was poorly defended by Ivanhoe and Josh Squires found Aston, who turned and put the ball into the bottom corner.
On the stroke of half time, Ambergate were thankful to Bannister again as he pulled off another full stretch save to keep the scores level.
The second half started better for Ambergate as they started to take control but ten minutes in a penalty was awarded which surprised both sets of teams.
Richard Briggs slid in on an Ivanhoe forward and looked to have won the ball cleanly as the forward fell over Briggs’s grounded body with the ball now 20 yards away from the pair.
However, the referee blew for a penalty which was despatched by Ivanhoe.
Now searching for an equaliser, Ambergate pushed forward but were being exposed by good counter attacking by Ivanhoe.
Josh Squires had half a chance with a header which was calmly saved by the ‘keeper as Ivanhoe defended solidly for the remainder of the game and took all three points.