Leverstock Green’s season did not get off to the best of starts on Saturday after they were beaten 3-0 away at Arlesey Town in their opening SSML Premier Division game.
The Green had plenty of possession but could not make the most of it, while the hosts took their chances clinically.
It is an almost entirely new Leverstock squad from the one which narrowly avoided relegation last term and with both senior keepers unavailable, there was a first-team debut for 16-year-old Adi Connolly, who acquitted himself well between the sticks.
After a quiet opening ten minutes to the game, Arlesey took the lead from their first real chance. A free-kick was floated into the box by Josh Brown and James Hatch got up unchallenged to head across goal, where the ball was turned in by Charlie Moss.
Ollie Cox had Leverstock’s first decent attempt in the 16th minute, a shot from outside the box which was gathered by home stopper Robbie Ponting.
There was nearly an equaliser in the 32nd minute when Luis Brooker got on the end of Frankie Jowle’s corner, but his header went inches over the bar.
Leverstock were having more of the ball at that stage, but were giving it away far too often and were unable to create the chances some of their play deserved.
Their task was made even harder when Arlesey added a second goal four minutes before half-time from what was only their second chance. They were awarded a free-kick just outside the box and Aaron Browne took the set-piece perfectly, curling it round the wall and into the corner of the net, giving Connolly no chance.
Leverstock needed to get a goal back quickly and they almost managed it two minutes into the second period when Cox hit a dangerous free-kick across the face of the six-yard box, but nobody could get on the end of it.
Arlesey increased their control of the game by adding a third goal in the 56th minute when Moss ran at the Green defence, took the ball around Dan Weeks and hit a shot under Connolly’s body for an impressive finish.
The Leverstock bench responded with a triple substitution, bringing on Kai Stonnell, Ollie Lawford and Luke Peerless, but they were unable to turn the game around.
Arlesey went close to a fourth goal in the 72nd minute when a shot from Hatch struck the post, while Leverstock almost netted a consolation six minutes’ later, but Lawford headed just over.
The game ended on a sour note for Arlesey when they were reduced to ten men in the 85th minute when Lilian Pascasu receiving a straight red card for retaliation on Peerless.
However, they deserved their win in a game that showed there is still much work to be done for the Leverstock side.
Leverstock line-up: Adi Connolly, Kane O’Neil (Kai Stonnell, 57 mins), Dan Weeks, Lewis Rodrigoe, Charlie Milton, Steve Hawes, Ollie Cox, Jack Stevens, Luis Brooker (Ollie Lawford, 57 mins), John Smith (Luke Peerless, 57 mins), Frankie Jowle. Subs not used: Harry Misselbrook, Zak Howells.