Lions fall just short in seasons opener

The Lions went down by the narrowest of margins on the south coast in the opening game of their second season in the Vanarama National League.

New signing Michael Rankine grabbed his first league goal for the Lions on 56 minutes but having conceded two goals in the first half to a much fancied Eastleigh side the Yorkshiremen were unable to conjure up an equaliser.

Spitfire’s midfielder Andy Drury opened the scoring on 10 minutes as he drove home a loose ball inside the area and then came the killer blow on the cusp of halftime as home skipper Joe Partington headed home Jake Howells free kick unchallenged two minutes before the break.

Substitute Adam Smith got the visitors back in the game when his quickly taken free kick was headed home by Rankine just before the hour and Adam Boyes was denied by Connor Essam’s block shortly after.

Further chances followed as Ash Palmers looping header was tipped over and both Danny East and Rankine just failed to get the decisive touch on the resulting corner.

Next up is the visit of another heavily backed team, Wrexham, who visit Nethermoor on Tuesday (7:45pm ko) followed by current table toppers and former Football League team Dagenham and Redbridge on  Saturday 13th August, ko 3pm.

Team:

17 Daniel Atkinson

6 Jake Lawlor

5 Adam Lockwood

15 Ash Palmer

23 Danny East

8 Will Hatfield

4 Javan Vidal (Boyes 76)

18 Nicky Clee (Johnson 50)

20 Marcus Williams

11 Michael Rankine

19 Jordan Preston (Smith 56)

Subs:

1 Tim Deasy

7 Adam Smith

9 Adam Boyes

10 Oli Johnson

25 Rob Atkinson