Eve excels on day of mixed fortunes
It proved an evening of mixed fortunes for Bermuda’s players in non-League football as the Vanarama National League campaigns kicked off.
Dale Eve’s Spennymoor Town got their National League North promotion charge off to a winning start, but there was disappointment for Justin Donawa’s Darlington and Keziah Martin’s Kidderminster Harriers, who suffered defeats in the same division, while Milan Butterfield’s Chesterfield also lost in their league opener.
Eve played a pivotal role in Spennymoor’s 2-1 victory at home to Farsley Celtic, making crucial saves at pivotal moments to ensure the County Durham-based outfit picked up all three points.
After Eve superbly tipped a powerful James Spencer header on to the bar with the score goalless early on, Spennymoor broke the deadlock in the 20th minute through a superbly taken goal from Rob Ramshaw.
The home side’s hopes of victory were handed a further boost before the break as Farsley goalkeeper Steven Drench was adjudged to have handled out of his area and was sent off.
Town capitalised on the man advantage just 12 minutes into the second half, doubling their lead through a Glen Taylor header.
However, the visiting side rallied to call Eve into action with 15 minutes remaining, forcing the goalkeeper into a stunning double save to deny Spencer and Jake Charles.
That pressure continued and ultimately led to Farsley reducing the deficit with eight minutes remaining through Jack Charles, but it was to prove too little too late as Spennymoor held on for victory, much to the delight of manager Jason Ainsley.
“We very much made that more difficult for ourselves than it should have been,” he told the club’s official website. “We could have really been out of sight with some great chances to finish off the game.
“In the first half we were very good in spells but disappointedly we allowed them to score a really scruffy goal. Dale Eve also pulled off three unbelievable saves. We shouldn’t have been in a position to rely on Dale making those sort of saves.
“Credit to them for not giving up but we know we can do better. The pleasing aspect is three points and we’re off to a winning start to the season.”
There was frustration for Donawa and Darlington, who went down to a 1-0 defeat away to highly fancied Flyde.
Donawa came on after 15 minutes for the injured Adam Campbell but could not inspire victory, as Flyde, relegated from the National League last term, claimed all three points through Nick Haughton’s superb 78th-minute strike.
Martin was an unused substitute as Kidderminster went down to a 2-1 defeat at home to Chester, while in the division above, Butterfield played the full match as Chesterfield suffered a hard-fought 2-1 defeat at home to Hartlepool United.
After a goalless first half, Chesterfield went ahead through Tom Denton’s penalty, only for Hartlepool to hit back through an own goal from Will Evans after 65 minutes and a Ryan Johnson strike four minutes later to complete the turnaround.
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