One lucky strike proved to be the difference as Biggleswade Town went down 1-0 to Poole Town on Saturday.
Poole were longtime leaders of the Southern League Premier last season only to stumble at the end and lose in the play-offs.
The visitors came out of the block quickly but the Waders were quicker. The first two shots on goal at either end came within 60 seconds of the start.
Both attacks were running at pace with Waders’ Merson and Burnett causing problems and their opposite numbers Roberts and Brook equally played their part.
It was frantic on occasions as the Wader’s keeper Ian Brown pulled off a series of spectacular saves. The way both defences were playing, the Waders missing both Hoyte and Frater, a score was unlikely.
But lady luck was on Poole’s side.
On 28 minutes Luke Holmes’s shot was destined for the side hoardings but took a wicked deflection to leave Brown stranded and put the visitors ahead.
The entertainment continued with both keepers happy to beat the ball away. When they were beaten the post or crossbar came to the rescue.
The second half was much the same with Merson, Ian Rees Burnett and Daniel laying siege to Poole’s goal for long periods of time.
The best opportunity fell to Burnett with some quick feet, and he struck the underside of the bar with his shot.
Poole hit the post late on as Biggleswade pushed forward, trying to protect their home record, but at the end the lucky strike settled it.
Next weekend the Waders are in FA Cup action at Wealdstone.