Bristol & West Men's 2nd XI began a new season in a new league following their triumphant promotion to De Cymru & The Marches 1 on the brink of lockdown in March.
Buoyed by an almost flawless pre-season and welcoming some new faces to their ranks, the 2s began the match with the same swagger and confidence that had taken them to a second place finish last campaign as they faced off against Wooten Under-Edge A.
Following a lung-busting counter attack, Andy "Return of the Mack" MacKay found the stick of Jake "Herr Ziegler" Seager who deftly poked home to give the orange army a 3rd minute lead.
In a game that proved to be an open encounter throughout, the two teams created attacking opportunities at either end. The next breakthrough came from a textbook slap to the back-post from young gun Luke Berry to find an obliging Joe John to tip over the line for 2-0.
With the team's tails up and the first-half scoreline reminding us of the heady days of last season it would have been easy to think that the job was half done. However, as the first half neared a close, Wooten showed that there will be no easy victories in this league. Two goals in relatively short succession brought them back into the game as the teams headed into half time all-square: 2-2.
The second half played out as a much more cagey affair, with glimpses of what the 2s are capable of, but punctuated by individual errors throughout. A penalty corner deflected past the keeper onto the post and some sumptuous passing moves that just fell short of the final touch, could have been enough to take all three points on another day. Instead, it was Wooten who found the net late on and shrewdly closed the game out to end with a 3-2 victory.
Having not experienced league defeat since a stormy Saturday in Penarth back in February, it was a bitter pill to swallow for the squad. But with the captain's mantra of "positivity" ringing in their ears and plenty of promising moments to build on, the "Mighty 2nd XI" will rally to come back stronger next Saturday.
Man of the Match: Phil "007" Brown (for a solid midfield performance)
Written by D.O.D: Joe "Gareth Bale" John (for some nifty footwork down the left wing)