League favourites Portsmouth got off to an infatic start with an impressive 3-0 win over Dagenham and Redbridge. Winger Kyle Bennett who arrived from Doncaster Rovers got on the scoresheet twice on his Pompey debut while Gareth Evans also got the ball rolling in the 54th minute. The team consisted of mostly new arrivals in front of a huge crowd at Fratton Park. Pompey now find themselves in the automatic promotion places, somewhere they will hope to become familiar with over the course of the season.
Notts County are another team expected to be pushing for the trophy this season. The squad has been completely reshaped over the summer, with an international flavour being added. It was an Englishman who opened the scoring though, Curtis Thompson finishing after a swift counter attack. Mawouna Amevor made the points safe, but ended his debut in a sour manor, seeing red for a tussle with Tm Hitchcock in the closing moments.
The most exciting game of the day resulted with Exeter edging past Yeovil 3-2. The hosts had led 2-0 at the break before strikes from Marc Laird and Matt Dolan from the spot levelled things up. Will Hoskins won the game for the Grecians with 6 minutes reaming, lofting the ball over visiting goalkeeper Chris Weale.
Luton Town avoided the embarrassment of an opening day loss with Jonathan Smith levelling in the dying embers of the match. Luton are many peoples favourites to take the title. But a draw at lowly opposition such as Accrington Stanley, will have to be avoided in the future,
John Joe O’Toole scored the wiining goal for Northampton as he returned to former club Bristol Rovers for the first time since his departure. The newly promoted Pirates rarely threatened on their return to the Football League, leaving O’Toole with the simple task of tapping in from yards.
Barry Corr’s brave led Cambridge United to an impressive victory over Terry Butcher’s Newport County. Before the Irishman had doubled the U’s lead. Medy Elito had the chance to pull Newport level from the spot, but found Sam Beasant in excellent form. Robbie Simpson rounded off the triumph, blasting home from the edge of the area.
Wycombe Wanderers were out of the blocks quickly with a 3-0 win over York City. There seemed to be no play off final hangover, as the Chairboys suffered Wembley heartbreak just 3 months ago. Little has changed in Buckinghamshire over the summer, Welsh youngster Aaron Holloway opening his account for the season. Either side of Holloway’s goal Anthony Stewart scored on his second Wycombe debut, and last terms top marksman Paul Hayes latched once again for Wanderers.
Martin Allen couldn’t complete Barnet’s fairytale return to the Football League as his side went down 2-0 to Leyton Orient. The was an exodus of departures from the Matchroom Stadium this summer, but two quickfire goals put them on top. Jay Simpson fired in the first and Paul McCallum doubled the lead just 60 seconds later. But a lot of positives to take away for an ambitious Barnet team.
After surviving by the skin of their teeth last season, Hartlepool began this campaign with a fresh outlook. A 2-0 win on the opening day against Morecambe will do wonders for the teams confidence. Debutant Billy Paynter grabbed an assist and a goal in his first Pools game, Rakish Bingham the benefactor of the former Doncaster mans chipped through ball.
Both Crawley Town and Carlisle United claimed vital away points in their games against Oxford and Mansfield respectively. Gwion Edwards had headed Crawley in front but last seasons top scorer Danny Hylton levelled the scoreline just nine minutes later. Meanwhile in Nottinghamshire, Mal Benning’s magical free kick gave the hosts the lead, but experienced poacher Jabo Ibehre secured a point for the visitors.
The final game of the day saw Derek Adams collect his first points since being appointed Plymouth boss. New recruits Gregg Wylde and Graham Carey both got on the score sheet as Argyle sailed pas Wimbledon with relative ease.
Results in full
Accrington Stanley 1-1 Luton Town
AFC Wimbledon 0-2 Plymouth Argyle
Bristol Rovers 0-1 Northampton Town
Cambridge United 3-0 Newport County
Exeter City 3-2 Yeovil Town
Hartlepool United 2-0 Morecambe
Leyton Orient 2-0 Barnet
Mansfield Town 1-1 Carlisle United
Oxford United 1-1 Crawley Town
Portsmouth 3-0 Dagenham and Redbridge
Stevenage 0-2 Notts County
Wycombe Wanderers 3-0 York City