Opening-day test was an eye-opener, admits Stocker

First published in Sport by

NEWLY-promoted Tenbury United’s 3-2 defeat at Pegasus Reserves was an eye-opening experience for his players, says joint-manager Nick Stocker.

United cruised to the Division One title last season but Stocker thinks life will be much harder this term in the Hereford Times Herefordshire League Premier Division.

“It’s not nice to lose your first game but, in a way, it’s nice to get a defeat out of the system,” said Stocker, whose men travel to Hereford Lads Club Reserves this Saturday.

“The standard of Pegasus’ play was a big eye-opener and it was much higher than we experienced in Division One.

“We are not going to get away with some of the things that, perhaps, we got away with last season.”

Player-manager Aaron Morris is suspended for the first three games, while skipper Mike Foster was at a wedding last weekend.

United fell 2-0 down early on in last Saturday’s opening match at Pegasus, before a brace from Dale Withers achieved parity.

But Pegasus scored the winner direct from a corner with time running out.

Stocker said: “We started really slowly. We have not had a good pre-season and we thought it might take a while to get into the match.

“We changed the formation at the interval and we had a great second half.

“We pulled it back to 2-2 and I thought we could go on to win the match.

“It was disappointing in the end because I thought we had done enough to get a point.

“We do not have a home match until September 2 and that’s OK because it gives us time to get our new posts sorted out.

Another newly-promoted outfit, Orleton Colts, lost 2-1 at reigning champions Ewyas Harold in their opening Premier Division match.

Bishops Castle Town crashed 3-0 at home to AFC Broseley, in the Mercian League Division One.

Castle player-manager Alex Jones said: “The scoreline wasn’t a true reflection of the match. In the first half, we played well and Broseley scored a cracking goal to open the scoring. After we fell behind we were always chasing the game.”

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