It needed two great finishes to beat an inspired home goalkeeper, as Kingsteignton Athletic won 2-0 at Totnes and Dartington in the opening game of the Devon Football League.
Amid the fragrant fires of a delicious barbeque at T&D, the game started brightly for Kingsteignton and they went close when Aaron Paget was released on goal, but he was pulled up for an infringement. T&D responded with a superb passing move and the final shot was steered inches over by Thomas Weymouth.
The opening goal arrived on 17 minutes, and it was a cracker. Kingsteignton worked the ball nicely down the right flank and the cross was met on the half-volley by Ross Beer, who rifled an emphatic finish into the roof of the net.
The dangerous Beer, who was also a rock at the back, nearly doubled the lead from a corner moments later, but was denied by an athletic save from David Carroll, his first of many in a brilliant performance from the T&D custodian.
Carroll produced two more fine blocks before the Tots began to settle into the game and imposed themselves toward the end of the first period, again going closing through Weymouth.
It was, however, fitting that Carroll ended the first 45 minutes of the Devon Football League with another brilliant save, and started the second period with his next block.
The decisive moment arrived in 62 minutes and even Carroll could do nothing about a wonderful dipping free-kick from Ollie Kewell that found the top corner to extend Kingsteignton’s lead.
Totnes and Dartington remained a threat to the end and very nearly pulled one back but Kingsteignton goalkeeper Thomas Brooks, perhaps inspired by Carroll, produced a fine save of his own, and a compact defensive display from the visitors gave Kingsteignton a clean sheet start to the campaign.
It was a great occasion, played in tremendous spirit by both clubs, and superbly officiated in a calm manner by referee Matt Redmond. Well done to all involved and we move on to the start of the North & East Division on Friday night, when Budleigh Salterton host Witheridge.