Stamford Lions FC started their new era with a 1-0 away win at King’s Cliffe thanks to an 83rd minute winner from teenager Sean Kelly.
A crowd of nearly 300 spectators watched the scrappy yet entertaining PDFL Division One tie as part of the Groundhop weekend.
It was the Lions’ first competitive match since changing their name from Ryhall United and pick up sticks to move to Borderville on the edge of Stamford - however on Sunday they were away at King’s Cliffe.
As the match ball was carried down by parachute the excitement was evident as both teams looked to get off to a winning start to their league campaigns.
However the first half lacked any of the pre-match excitement as both teams cancelled each other out in a scrappy disjointed 45 minutes of football. The second half wasn’t a huge improvement but chances did start to appear
Stamford keeper John Swales palmed away a goal bound effort before Ryan Brown was twice denied from fine saves from Stu Markley in the Cliffe goal.
Sam Rayner found space in the area but failed to put any power in his header as both teams battled away but created so few clear cut chances until the 83rd minute when Barry Burton whipped in a corner that Brown flicked on before Kelly toed home from close range. The one goal was always going to be enough for either team and Lions were delighted to have snatched the three points.
“It was a great occasion” commented Stamford Lions manager James Sheehan.
“The game was scrappy and lacked flow but we stuck to the task and ultimately grabbed the win.
“King’s Cliffe made a great day of it and it was great to be part of the Groundhop weekend and great to come away with the win,” he said.
King’s Cliffe: Stuart Markley, Craig Close, Gary Hayes, James Adams, Chris Cooper, Matt Black, Carl Burrows, Neal Lattimore, Tom Lees, Bradley Freeman, Sam Taylor. Subs: Ryan Broughton, Rob Eldred, Johnny Grout, Jamie Andrew and Craig Bennett.
Stamford Lions: John Swales, Sam Bush, Michael Webb, Danny Sheehan, Sean Kelly, Joe Lippett, Henry Dunn, Luke Ball, Jack Travers, Ryan Brown, Sam Rayner. Subs: Jono Smith, Barry Burton, Mark Frisby, Simon Griffiths and Eddy Pentney.