REPORT: Graham St Prims 1-3 Selston - Parishioners win season opener
Selston's first foray into football at step six of the non-league pyramid was a sweet one on Saturday as they came from behind to beat hosts Graham St Prims.
It’s always hard at this stage of the summer to judge just what lies ahead for any team irrespective of opening results, but for Selston it was very much a case of carrying on where they’d left off having been frequent winners in recent years.
They did it the hard way, dominating the first-half only to go in at the break a goal down, but battled back well in the second to earn the win their efforts deserved against what admittedly was a poor side in Prims who were also a bit lively in the tackle throughout.
The Parishioners controlled the tempo from the off with Sean Gregory and Ben Moore pulling the strings in midfield and Wayne Cooke getting a lot of the ball out left, as was new signing Josh Waldram on the right.
Cooke fired an early shot too high and although it took until 24 minutes for another key Selston chance - Jamie Renshaw’s shot saved and then Cooke putting the rebound over the bar - the visitors were well in control.
Carl Moore saw two openings go astray on the half hour mark, but just as it seemed Selston would get to the break at least level, they suddenly fell behind.
Prims’ Ashley Griffiths was put in on goal and after his first shot was parried by keeper Jake Ball, a clearance off the line by a defender came back off the Selston stopper and the ball trickled into the net.
It was then nearly two moments later as Jordan Sanders got clear but this time Ball saved well.
The second-half was again all Selston, Waldram shooting wide in a good position and Carl Moore too high soon afterwards.
The leveller came on 55 when a free-kick from out wide by Ben Moore floated over all including a badly-positioned goalkeeper and found the corner of the net.
Griffiths put a rare chance over the top for the hosts but Selston soon had the lead, Kane Hempshall seeing a shot blocked but following up well to fire in the rebound on 73 minutes, although he was injured in doing so and subsequently retired hurt.
Prims were reduced to ten men when Matt Pearce raised his hands to Gregory, the referee, who otherwise had a dreadful game, right to send Pearce off.
The win was then sealed in stoppage time but not without controversy. Prims claimed what looked a certain handball in the penalty area but with a spot kick not given, Selston raced away and eventually Gregory’s chip beat the keeper to secure the points, new boy Kenan Layton’s touch on the line seemingly coming after the ball had crossed it.
Selston: Ball, James, Renshaw, Davis, Jones (Shacklock 89), B Moore (c), Waldram, Gregory, Hempshall (Manners 74), C Moore, Cooke (Layton 66).
Match photos to follow...