Big wins and an impressive draw against one of the title favourites ensured an impressive start to another Premier League season, with Sussex rivals Brighton and Lewes each hitting four and Coventry United scoring five in their first game back in the southern division.
Champions Portsmouth began the defence of their title with a hard-fought win at Cardiff, but highly-rated C&K Basildon, fresh up from South East Division 1, took no time in announcing their arrival with an impressive draw at home to Charlton Athletic, who are one of the top fancies to win the league.
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Brighton breezy start
Brighton 4-0 Forest Green Rovers
Last season’s runners-up off to a flyer as they give their newly promoted opponents a taste of life at a higher level – but plenty of positives for Forest Green to build on.
Read match report
4-0 win and great team performance, couldn’t of asked for a better start… https://t.co/ITWyFd42Kt
— Vicky Ashton-Jones (@vickyaj8) August 16, 2015
Basildon announce their intentions
C&K Basildon 1-1 Charlton Athletic
Title hopefuls Charlton need an equaliser just before half-time to salvage a draw at Basildon, who make an immediate impact following their promotion.
So proud of my ladies today – in the big league now and more than a match for a great Charlton team -peerless performance @ckbasildon
— C&K Basildon Ladies (@CKBASILDON) August 16, 2015
Both sides had plenty of chances to take all three points throughout but a combination of off-target finishing and brilliant goalkeeping meant they had to share the spoils – Charlton Athletic match report
Cardiff City 0-1 Portsmouth
Super-sub Shannon Sievwright’s goal with her first touch earns Pompey their second victory in Cardiff in four months and lays to rest the ghost of their Super League play-off heartache – and exacts revenge for their opening-day defeat by the same team last season.
Girls had to dig deep again today but found the right result – Portsmouth manager Perry Northeast (Twitter)
After pre-season you don’t really know where you are at, and I saw enough today to feel we will be in and around the challenging teams. It was a close game and on another day it may well have been a different result – Cardiff head coach Gary Green (club website)
Coventry United 5-0 West Ham United
Conflicting first-day experiences for two of the Premier League’s newest managers as a late rally sees Coventry United to an emphatic victory in their first competitive match in their new colours.
Defender Nikki Miles grabs two headed goals and Amanda Whalley rounds things off with a neat finish on her debut.
Great start for new Coventry boss Michael Foy – not so for his opposite number, Marc Nurse, in his first competitive game in charge. India international goalkeeper Aditi Chauhan made her debut for West Ham.
I think today will do us good in the long run. Missing 4 strikers hurt us but we needed a big test. Now we know what it takes to win this.
— Stephen Hunt (@ChairmanHuntJnr) August 16, 2015
Cherelle queen of the Khassal
Lewes 4-1 Plymouth Argyle
Cherelle Khassal rounds off a top-class performance with two goals that give Lewes a big win on opening day.
— Rookmeister (@Rookmeister) August 16, 2015
Spurs see off Rangers challenge
Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Queens Park Rangers
Spurs win London derby, but Rangers show marked improvement on corresponding game last season.
Well done @ThlfcOfficial on our win today! Buzzing I got myself on the score sheet ⚽️💙
— Alexandra Keown (@A_Keown92) August 16, 2015
I’m pleased with our overall performance, but we are all bitterly disappointed because we felt we deserved something out of the game – QPR manager Martino Chevannes (club interview)