JOEL Hughes enjoyed a winning start to life as Earlswood Town manager with a 2-1 opening day win against former club Fairfield Villa.
Debutant Vincent Record and talisman Louis Bridges scored second-half goals to seal victory for The Earls while David McQuaide netted a late consolation for the hosts at the Recreation Ground.
The result means the Earls sit sixth in the Midland Football League Division Two table after one fixture.
Earls boss Hughes handed debuts to six players as new signing Connor Doyle went close to breaking the deadlock when he blazed over the bar from close range midway through the first half.
At the other end, Fairfield’s Shaquille Rowe clipped a lofted effort just wide of the post in a half of few chances while the Earls lost captain Matt Pemberton to the sin bin for dissent.
However, Earlswood opened the scoring on 53 minutes as Record controlled Doyle’s corner before smashing home his side’s first goal of the season.
And the visitors sealed the points on 88 minutes when Doyle was chopped down in the box, following a superb run down the left, and Bridges stepped up to coolly convert the resulting penalty.
Fairfield reduced the deficit five minutes into time added on as McQuaide fired a shot past Earls’ debutant goalkeeper Dan Dawson to set up a nervy finish.
However, Hughes’s side saw out the remaining minutes to secure their first opening day win since 2o20.
Earlswood host Bolehall Swifts in their next outing on Tuesday, August 8 with kick-off at 6.30pm at The Pavilions.