Kidsgrove Athletic claimed bragging rights as they beat Leek Town 1-0 in the season’s first El Staffico.
Kyle Diskin scored the only goal of the match just before half-time as his corner looped straight in over Danny Roberts in the Leek goal.
The game was a poor affair with neither side producing many efforts.
Kieran Harrison had to produce a fine save in the early stages of the game to deny Matt Bell from a free-kick. The shot stopper has been in exceptional form recently. He kept a clean sheet against Stocksbridge Park Steels a fortnight ago as well as making a number of key saves against Cambridge City at the weekend.
The games main talking point came on 40 minutes when Diskin saw his corner-kick fly straight over the head of Roberts and into the back of the net to give Kidsgrove a slender lead.
Jake Lovatt was presented with a golden opportunity to make it 2-0 just a few moments later when Louis Keenan headed a long ball back to Roberts. Lovatt pounced on it and rounded the goalkeeper. But Lovatt put his shot over the bar from an acute angle.
The second half was just as poor with neither side being able to force their way through their rival’s defence. The best effort coming when Rob Stevenson saw his shot blocked by Josh Thorpe just seconds after the restart.
Billy Reeves compounded Leek’s evening when he was sent off with just 20 minutes left for two yellow cards. The second for sliding in on Kingsley Adu-Gyamfi from behind.
From then on, Kidsgrove pressed home the man advantage and while they couldn’t find a crucial second goal to seal the game, they stopped Leek from threatening Harrison.
The most pleasing aspect of the evening for either side will be the attendance. With the COVID-19 rules in place, only 400 fans could attend the game which was sold out meaning good publicity for the two clubs as well as interest in Non-League football is continuing to soar.
Kidsgrove Athletic: Harrison, Bromfield, Byers, Whieldon, Bergin, Thorpe, Diskin, Blake, Lovatt (Chesters 85), Malbon (France 75), Adu-Gyamfi
Unused subs: Hickman, Gunnell, Cocks.
Leek Town: Roberts, Bavananga (Walford 78), Keenan (Saxon 63), Grocott, Harrison, Chadwick, Short, Reeves, Grice, Bell, Stevenson (Curley 83)
Unused subs: Baker, Ashman.