The RCD League got off to a flying start at Under 13 level as last year’s League and Cup double winners met the County Cup winners.

The first division clash ended with county champions Lepton Highlanders going down 2-0 to double winners Westend Lions.

The game was not scheduled until later in the season, but both teams found themselves without a game on the opening day and agreed to bring the fixture forward.

Visitors Westend started brightly as Lepton struggled to settle, but despite the Lions’ early threat they were unable to create any clear cut opportunities as Lepton’s defence of Adam Maywand, Edward Harrower, Jacob Senior and Joe Morgan held firm.

Lepton were unlucky not to take the lead when a crossfield pass found Alfie Smalley on the right edge of the area where he placed a chip over keeper Tom Haseldine, but the ball rebounded from the post for Westend to clear.

Lepton Under 13 side (from left) back row: Jack Smalley (coach), Andy Senior , (coach), Jack Hodgkinson, Adam Maywand, Alfie Smalley, Ben Carrington, William Harrower, Morgan Tankard, Kyle Smalley (manager). Front row: Lucas Marriot, Corey Longley, Joe Morgan, Tom Gledhill, Edward Harrower, Jacob Senior and Ross Woods
Lepton Under 13 side (from left) back row: Jack Smalley (coach), Andy Senior , (coach), Jack Hodgkinson, Adam Maywand, Alfie Smalley, Ben Carrington, William Harrower, Morgan Tankard, Kyle Smalley (manager). Front row: Lucas Marriot, Corey Longley, Joe Morgan, Tom Gledhill, Edward Harrower, Jacob Senior and Ross Woods
 

The near miss inspired a period of dominance from the home side and a pass from Jack Hodgkinson found Ross Woods in space but, with the target in sight, a Kai Cockburn tackle denied the Lepton forward.

With both defences looking unbreakable, a Tom Brook pass fell for Fabrizio Devito, who took a chance from the edge of the area and his shot nestled in the bottom corner to give Westend a half-time advantage.

Lepton started the second half with an all-out assault on the visitors goal and Smalley was unlucky when his chip skimmed the top of the bar and Westend held on their lead thanks to some fine defending from Finlay Langton, Jacob Whitehouse, Callum Durrans and Cockburn.

Lepton’s determination to grab an equaliser left them exposed to Westend’s breaks and only a fine tackle from Maywand stopped Tai Armitage’s clear run on goal, but Westend were not to be denied and when a Sam Farrell corner was only half cleared, James North was on hand to put a volley into the net from 12 yards.

Lepton continued to press but, when the ever dangerous Smalley found himself clear on the left keeper Haseldine was quick off his line to smother the danger.

In the end Westend held on to seal a vital three points to start the campaign.