Sam Winterburn got Netherton’s Under 13 side off to a flying start with an early goal in their Division II encounter at home to Lindley Lightning.
Lindley were slow off the mark and found themselves a goal down within a minute when Luke McLoughlin’s left wing cross found the unmarked Winterburn who turned the ball into the net at the far post.
Netherton continued to dominate and nearly doubled their lead, but Louie Baldwin-Wood was just off target with a volley from a Jack Howlett corner.
Lindley finally began to get a grip and had defenders Nathan Woodward, Levi Cunningham, Mongezi Dube and Daniel Hogg to thank for keeping them in the game.
Ben Harris and Ethan Bailey worked hard to try to ease the pressure for the visitors but Netherton keeper Ethan Denton was untroubled for most of the first half.
Netherton won a series of corners to keep the Lindley defence busy but, when another Louie Baldwin-Wood shot flew wide of the mark, the home side had little to show for their dominance until Winterburn’s left wing cross found Davan Liburd who side-footed the ball into the bottom corner on the half hour to give Netherton some breathing space.
Lindley rallied as the second half got under way and Netherton defenders Jack Howlett and Harvey Winkley were kept busy as Ben Warner, Ethan Bailey and the hard working Ben Harris tried to break through for the visitors.
Harris was unlucky to see his shot well saved at the foot of the right post and Jak Milburn did hit the back of the net for the visitors but referee Fencil Modeste ruled the effort off-side.
Despite the visitors fight back, Netherton were still a serious threat going forward and Baldwin-Wood went close with a shot just over the cross bar from 15 yards.
Lucio Spencer forced a terrific save from Lindley’s Toby Dawson who finger-tipped the ball around the post and, as the game swung from end to end, McLoughlin looked to have settled the result in Netherton’s favour when his shot from the left edge of the area rattled the underside of the bar but the effort was cleared before crossing the line.
Lindley almost had the final word, but Joe Bowen’s dipping long range shot crashed against the angle of cross bar and post.
Netherton will be very happy with their positive start to the season, however if Lindley, who are still looking for their first points, want to do better they will have to sharpen up from the kick off and make better starts.