This was not the opening day start that Kyle Adams and Craig Bould were hoping for as they crashed to a 4-0 home defeat against West Didsbury and Chorlton at Pershall Park. Admittedly, the Eagles were missing some key players but their opponents showed that they will be in the promotion mix at the end of the season with some neat, direct football.
Eccleshall were forced to defend in the opening minutes and it was not long before their skipper Kris Holt had a good chance inside the box but blazed it over the bar. On 14 minutes, however, they took the lead. A corner into the box was headed back and James Cottee stooped to head home past Eagles 'keeper Louis McCarthy. Didsbury continued to press forward and another chance was wasted. They went two up on 25 minutes when, from another set piece, Jamie Forbes headed past McCarthy. Initially, this was flagged offside, but the linesman was overruled by ref Goodwin to the dismay of the Eagles players and management. Matthew Boland fired over before Eccleshall had a decent chance with Conor Docherty battling his way down the right before curling his shot over the bar. Just before half time, the Eagles went three down when Matthew Eckersley headed in from a free kick.
HT: Eccleshall 0 West Didsbury and Chorlton 3
Eccleshall's task became all the harder on 55 minutes when, after an incident with a Didsbury player, Miles Johnson was red carded by ref Goodwin. Another Didsbury effort was fired into the side netting before Eagles were down to nine men with Luke Lewis being the first Eccleshall player sin binned for ten minutes under the new FA rules. It was backs to the wall stuff now as Didsbury continued to press forward and Eagles not giving the Didsbury 'keeper Andrew Jones any real problems. On 84 minutes, it was 4-0 when Joshua Tinker netted. Just before the final whistle, Ashley Woods had a chance to add to the tally but his effort was just wide of the post.
Eagles : McCarthy, Collins, Docherty, Finney, Johnson, Dunne, Lewis, White, Baxter, Wakefield, Downs.
Subs: Pearson, Tomlin, Griffiths, Thomas, Alexander.
FT: Eccleshall 0 West Didsbury and Chorlton 4