Bilborough Town 2 - 1 AFC Dunkirk
Law (28, 36) Harbottle (pen.) (44)
Town got their first win of the new campaign on Saturday as they battled out a 2-1 victory over AFC Dunkirk.
With a changed starting line-up, which saw 16-year-old Scott-Parkin make his full senior debut, the return of the D. Kane/Hayes partnership at the back and a debut for new signing Ryan Clements, Town set out with a purpose on the back of two losses.
Dunkirk had the brighter opening spell, with a lot of pressure from Harrison and Harbottle going forward.
However, Harbottle had Town’s best chance in the early spell when he was played through and attempted to lob the bouncing ball onto the oncoming Ivanov from just inside the box, only to see his effort drop over the bar.
With the Town backline reinforced with new personnel, they weathered the storm, and Bilborough’s main outlets were the wings of Taylor and Stewart, both giving their respective full-backs a torrid time and they were both involved in Bilborough’s best opening chance.
Law played Taylor through who then beat his man and was left one-on-one with the Dunkirk ‘keeper.
Rather than drilling it goalwards, Taylor squared it to Stewart six yards from goal but Stewart could only hit the ball back into the path of the oncoming ‘keeper.
This boosted Town’s performance as they began to pile their own pressure onto the away side and it wasn’t long before they made the breakthrough when a ball over the top from Hayes fell into Law’s path and he duly despatched to get his and Bilborough’s first goal of the season.
Just ten minutes later and the home side had their 2nd when, after good work on the flank from Taylor, Law drove past three defenders and smashed it into the far corner from just inside the box to make it 2-0.
Town, now relaxed, began to play the ball around a little more and Law almost had his first-half hat-trick if it wasn’t for a great reaction save from the away side’s keeper.
Dunkirk then managed to grab one back before half-time when Harbottle was bundled to the ground by Hayes when bearing down on goal to set up for an interesting 2nd half.
Knowing that the 2nd half was going to be a tough one, Town set out with a defensive mindset, with McKeag and J. Kane sitting deeper in the middle.
Chances were few and far between for either side in the 2nd half, and a majority of the football was being played in the middle of the park.
Scott-Parkin had the chance to grab a goal on his debut when he was fed through by Law but he screwed his shot wide from the edge of the box and Stewart almost nodded in from a Taylor cross but could only see his header smash off the bar.
Dunkirk resorted to efforts from distance which were impeccably handled by the impressive Ivanov and, much like the Bilborough of last season which saw them keep 12 clean sheets last year, Town dug their heels in to ride the late spell of pressure to claim all three points.