NEW look Warrington Town held on to open the new Evo-Stik Premier League season with a 2-0 win over Rushall Olympic.
Connor Hughes’ debut goal in the first half was just about enough, though three goal line clearances from a corner late on kept the visitors out.
Substitute Joe Mwasile, another debutant, made absolutely sure with virtually the final kick of the match.
The Yellows handed debuts to four players in the starting line-up, with another two – Rory McKeown and Josh Hine – making their second debuts for the club.
It was one of the debutants, Tony Gray, that had the first half chance of the match on seven minutes, hitting over the bar from an awkward position.
Hughes opened the scoring on 16 minutes though, steering the ball home first time from the left corner of the box after Hine’s ball from the right.
Warrington enjoyed most of the first half hour, but in the final 10 minutes of the half, Rushall started to find their feet.
Controlled in midfield by former Premier League star Liam Lawrence, it was Stan Mugisha who twice got in behind the Yellows defence.
First he shot over the bar under pressure from Liam Goulding, before he was dragged down in the box by Adam Carden, with nothing given.
In the final knockings, Mugisha had a shot blocked having got inside the box unmarked.
The half time break came at a good time for the hosts, and they steadied the ship in the early stages of the second half.
Lawrence had a well hit shot dip just over the bar, before at the other end Ruben Jerome hit over the bar after nice link up play by the excellent Gray and Liam Hynes.
As both sides rolled the dice with substitutions, the game opened up and the Yellows started to have more chances of their own.
A weak shot by Gray was spilled by the Rushall keeper, and from the rebound Dylan Vassallo drilled across the face of goal.
Then from a half cleared corner, Goulding rounded the ‘keeper but couldn’t get a shot away, with Hine heading over from the ensuing scramble.
The key moment of the final stages came on 84 minutes when the Yellows denied Rushall on the line three times from close range.
There was controversy amongst it though, with the assistant referee on the far side appearing to flag for a handball against Sean Williams after he had blocked a shot from point blank range.
The hosts breathed a sigh of relief and held on to their lead and with two minutes left, should have made sure when Mwasile brought a cross down and caught in two minds, squared for Hine but it was too far in front of him.
Hine was again just short of a decisive touch when Vassallo squared to him minutes later.
The second goal did finally come, in the fifth minute of added on time, Mwasile running at a couple of defenders and finishing confidently for a debut goal.
Warrington are next in action at Lancaster City on Tuesday night.
Warrington Town: McMillan, Carden, McKeown, Williams, McCarten, Goulding, Hine, Hynes, Jerome (Vassallo), Gray (Mwasile), Hughes (Barnes). Unused subs: Reynolds, Ascroft.
Rushall Olympic: Crane, Duke, Probert, Whittall, Adelekan, Thomas, Mugisha, Lawrence, Lilly (Dell), Waldren (Murray), O’Neill-Martin (McCalla). Unused subs: Best, Brown.