Southwell City have draw with Kirby Muxloe in United Counties League opener
It was a tale of two halves as Southwell City played their first ever competitive match at step six level against Kirby Muxloe.
More than 120 people were at Brinkley for the opening game of the season in the United Counties League Division One.
The game started with a minute's silence for the Kirby Muxloe first team coach Adam Hart, who recently died.
Southwell City went into the game without their captain, Chris Bowles, who was away, and Bradley Peace-McDonald, who had to sit out due to medical advice.
Both club veterans were a notable absence, but Southwell went out on the attack from the whistle.
They dominated the early possession, winning several challenges and putting together some good, solid runs.
That pressure paid off on 15 minutes when City netted when a Will Stocks corner found Ed Munton, who stabbed it home.
That seemed to spark Kirby Muxloe into action, but they couldn't immediately make the opportunities count.
And, at the other end, the away keeper managed a spectacular save.
In the 38th minute, Liam Moran threaded the ball through to Ben Selby, who beat the keeper by drilling it in at the far corner to double the advantage.
It was a beautiful goal to see and was worth the admission price alone.
Selby was a constant threat for the Kirby Muxloe squad throughout the first-half.
Southwell City nearly made it 3-0 minutes from half-time but Cal Law misjudged the header at the far post.
The home side went into the break 2-0 up after dominating the first-half.
Kirby Muxloe had their opportunities in the first half, they were effective in getting the ball out of their back third but struggled in the midfield and converting their limited chances.
But the game up until half-time was Southwell City's and it looked as though they were going to run away with the result.
All of this changed after the break.
Kirby Muxloe came out with a renewed vigor and straight away looked like a different team.
They took it to Southwell and after only seven minutes had pegged one goal back to make it 2-1.
It was an impressive strike from the away side with a beautiful cross, a shot that deflected off the crossbar, and an eager Ben White capitalising on the chance to score.
Southwell had another good opportunity to get a third but it wasn't to be at that point in the game as
the away team's defence had tightened up significantly.
A game that looked at half-time as though it was almost out of reach was now a tightly contested affair.
Kirby Muxloe were determined not to give up and showed tenacity to stay in the game.
After the second goal, Southwell City showed glimpses of their first-half drive and stepped it up a notch.
The final minutes were an entertaining spectacle as Southwell keeper Ryan Fletcher saved a monster of a shot by tipping it over the top at minute 88.
Southwell very nearly won the game right on full time as Shelby got the ball to Moran who scored what would have been the winning goal.
The ruling was given as offside and the goal was disallowed, resulting in the game ending in a 2-2 draw.
A Southwell city club official said, "We didn’t turn up for the second half and we drop two points — learning curve!".
Southwell City next face Clifton All Whites away at the Norman Archer Memorial ground on Saturday.
Clifton beat Grantham Town Academy at Grantham 2-0 on Saturday.