Ashton & Backwell beaten by Buckland Athletic in league opener

Miles Hardidge Ashton & Backwell captain

Miles Hardidge scored and hit the crossbar for Ashton & Backwell against Buckland Athletic - Credit: Mike West/Backwell Camera Club

Ashton & Backwell fell to a 2-1 home defeat against Buckland Athletic on the first day of the new Toolstation Western League Premier Division season.

The Stags looked lively for the first 15 minutes, with Miles Hardidge heading over from an early free-kick.

But the visitors weathered the storm and took the lead when a long ball found Webster to slot past Coombes.

A sloppy challenge by Hedges led to a penalty two minutes later, but Coombes dived to his right to put the spot-kick behind.

The reprieve was brief, though, as Bush fired a second Buckland goal on 23 minutes.

Bush also hit the crossbar before Hardidge halved the deficit on 42 minutes, thumping home from a Charlie Saunders cross.

And the hosts dominated possession in the second half, with Coombes a mere spectator.

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Hardidge headed against the crossbar and had a shot saved, while Sam Price shot over from close range.

After a midweek trip to Shepton Mallet, the Stags host Southern League side Aylesbury United in the FA Cup extra preliminary round on Saturday (3pm).

Ashton & Backwell: Coombes, Newman (Price 84), Sollars (Anthony), White, Hedges, Bishop, Preddie, Cattermole (Connor Saunders 70), Hardidge, Charlie Saunders, Borges (Walker 84).