The 2015/16 season finally got underway last night when Rhyl held rivals Bangor City to a 1-1 draw in the North Wales coast derby.
New manager Gareth Owen saw his Rhyl side force a point on the season opener when Aaron Bowen’s header put his side back on level terms with just two minutes remaining.
It took until the 51st minute for the first goal of the season to arrive – Bangor’s Sam Hart converting from the penalty spot after Joe Williams – one of the five debutants to be named in each side – was brought down in the area.
With his side up and running, the Rhyl boss was glad his side didn’t come away empty-handed in front of bumper crowd of 1, 217 at the Corbett Sports Stadium.
“It was almost magical [when Arraon Bowen equalised]. I was pleased in the end for the lads and the fans more than anything as it would’ve been really disappointing to come off without getting a point,” Owen told the official WPL website post match.
“I’m really pleased for Aaron [Bowen] but it’s all about the team here and no job is too small for anybody – that’s the attitude that I have got and that I had as a player, and all in all, I’m pleased to have got the point.
“I do pinch myself coming here to be honest as it’s a real honour to manage a big club.”
The rest of the clubs get their campaigns underway this afternoon with champions TNS visiting newly promoted Haverfordwest County, and the league’s other newcomers Llandundo host Aberystwyth in the live Sgorio game at 5.15.
The game of the day for me is at the Deeside Stadium where after a busy summer in the transfer market, Connah’s Quay face Newtown on what should be Les Davies’ home debut.
I’ll be at Port Talbot versus Bala Town, with the hosts’ new-look squad facing a difficult opening day test.