Saturday`s Vanarama National League Review....

By Steve Whitney

Last season`s Vanarama National League runners-up, Forest Green Rovers, began their attempt to go one better with an opening day defeat at Meadow Park against Boreham Wood on Saturday.

The only goal of the game came on the half-hour mark when Ben Nunn's cross fell to Ricky Shakes, who fired first-time into the bottom corner.

Relegated York City began life back in the National League with a 1-1 draw against newly-promoted Maidstone United on the 3G at the Gallagher Stadium.

Maidstone, promoted via the National League South play-offs last season, went ahead on 22 minutes when Bobby-Joe Taylor latched onto a punched clearance from Scott Flinders and played a neat one-two with Alex Flisher before firing a left-footed shot across the York goalkeeper.

But York secured a share of the spoils midway through the second half when Cameroonian Clovis Kamdjo powered home a fine header from Aidan Connolly’s corner.

Dagenham & Redbridge, who came down with York, started well though against new-look Southport under player-manager Andy Bishop.

John Still`s side showed just why they are expected to be amongst the favourites for a rapid return by winning 3-0.

Fejeri Okenabirie gave the Daggers a 16th minute lead that the experienced Luke Guttridge doubled 7 minutes later.

And Jordan Maguire-Drew made sure of the points with a third on 67 minutes.

Another newly-promoted side, North Ferriby United, had to make do with a point from a goalless home draw with much-changed Braintree Town.

Now under Jamie Day`s guidance, the Iron went agonisingly close in the last few seconds by hitting the post.

Wrexham and Dover Athletic also cancelled each other out at the Racecourse Ground in another game that ended 0-0.

There were few scoring chances in the first half as both sides cancelled each other out.

New recruit Shaun Harrad converted another newcomer Jordan Evans' cross but his goal was ruled out for Wrexham before Dover immediately countered and Tyrone Marsh's shot was headed off the line by Sean Newton.

Two more off the promoted teams, Sutton United and Solihull Moors, met on the opening day and saw the visitors triumph 3-1.

Ryan Beswick gave Moors a 38th minute lead, but the home side went into the break on level terms, thanks to a 43rd minute Dean Beckwith effort.

Debutant Omari Sterling-James volleyed in a 53rd minute second for Solihull and 14 minutes from time, Andy Brown added a third for Marcus Bignot`s side.

Fancied Tranmere Rovers kicked off their campaign in convincing fashion with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Bromley at Hayes Lane.

Neil Smith`s hosts fell behind after just 9 minutes to a James Norwood goal.

And then a minute before the break, Norwood doubled his an Rovers` lead – a lead they held on to.

Gateshead won their opening game at the International Stadium against Chester FC.

Second half goals from former Wrexham players Wes York with a brace and Manny Smith earned Neil Aspin a first win as Tynesiders` boss.

Barrow AFC earned a hard-fought 1-0 win at home against another much-changed team under a new manager, Aldershot Town.

Gary Waddock`s side faced the long journey back to Hampshire disappointed to have fallen to a Liam Hughes goal in just the 7th minute.

Many pundits fancy Lincoln City`s chances under former Braintree Town boss Danny Cowley, and his new-look Imps started well with a 3-1 success at Kingfield against Woking.

Adam Marriott gave the Imps a deserved half-time lead with a neat finish after 28 minutes, but the visitors were pegged back by Ismail Yakubu's close-range strike in the first minute of the second half.

However, Matt Rhead restored City's lead on the hour-mark and then made it 3-1 from the penalty spot with 17 minutes remaining.

Last season's leading scoring had the chance to complete his hat-trick when Lincoln were awarded another penalty, but new Cards keeper Michael Poke pulled off an excellent save.

Macclesfield Town started the new campaign off well with a 2-0 win at the Moss Rose against Torquay United.

New midfielder Ollie Norburn gave the Silkmen a 24th minute lead.

Striker Chris Holroyd then doubled the home side's advantage in the 65th minute to earn all three points and force the Gulls to leave Cheshire pointless.

Eastleigh enjoyed a 2-1 home win over Guiseley AFC at the Silverlake Stadium.

The hosts went 2-0 up through Andy Drury after 10 minutes and skipper Joe Partington just before the break.

But the Lions fought back to reduce the deficit through Michael Rankine 11 minutes into the second half.

There were some uncomfortable moments to endure for Chris Todd`s men though as they clung on for the points.

Where next?

Ferriby Add Two to Squad Vanarama National League new boys North Ferriby United have announced the signing of defender Liam Slade.
Two New Coasters Young striker George Newell has joined AFC Fylde on a season-long loan deal from League One side Bolton Wanderers, while the Coasters have also signed goalkeeper Rhys Taylor.