Lichfield City Reserves got their league campaign off to a flying start with a 5-3 win against Loughborough Dynamo.
Ashley Bennett enjoyed his afternoon as he bagged a hat-trick to secure all three points for the hosts.
City started the brighter of the two sides with a superb pass from Adam Edmonds into the path of Bennett who still had plenty to do, but took it on his chest and finished superbly to put the home side in the lead after a quarter of an hour.
Five minutes later and the lead was doubled when a quick throw resulted in Josh Houghton twisting and turning in the box before finding the net.
It got even better before half time when Lichfield added a third as Adam Edmonds’ rasping drive found the top corner.
Loughborough came out for the second period fired up and pulled one back through a Jamie Talbot volley.
But keeper Danny Reeves was on fine form for City, producing three saves as Lichfield looked to weather the Loughborough storm – and they proved to be valuable as Bennett lobbed the keeper from 25 yards to put Lichfield 4-1 up.
The visitors replied straight away though as Townsend finished smartly.
With ten minutes left on the clock, Lichfield again found the net as Bennett wrapped up his hat-trick.
A late goal by Tim Day proved to be nothing more than a consulation for Loughborough as Lichfield’s second string picked up the win.
City return to action on September 15 with a local derby at home against Chasetown’s Reserves, kick-off 3pm.