NORTHWICH Victoria fell to defeat in the opening game of the new league season in the absence of manager Steve Wilkes.

Vics were defeated 1-0 by Avro in the North West Counties Football League Premier Division at the U Lock It Stadium in Wincham, with Liam Ellis' 59th-minute strike being decisive.

AFC Urmston Meadowside vice chairman Jimmy Khan, who stepped in to look after the team with Wilkes and his assistant Steve Pickup being away, said the Trickies – missing four players through suspensions and players being on holiday – had enough chances to win the contest.

There is no midweek action coming up for the Greens, so their next outing will be away to Squires Gate on Saturday, August 6, in the Emirates FA Cup extra preliminary round.

Barnton also lost at home on the opening day by the same scoreline.

The Villagers were beaten 1-0 by Stockport Town after conceding to William Calligan in the 54th minute.

Likewise they have no midweek fixture and can prepare for another home game in NWCFL First Division South next Saturday against Brocton.

Also in the NWCFL, Winsford United started the season with a 3-1 loss at Barnoldswick.

That is despite Robbie Hutton putting Lee Duckworth's side ahead in the 19th minute.

On the stroke of half-time Gareth Hill levelled matters and the hosts went in front 11 minutes into the second half courtesy of Daniel Fagan.

The win was only sealed in added time through Kuda Chingwaro.

Blues will be looking to turn their fortunes around when they host Avro at Barton Stadium on Tuesday.

1874 Northwich completed their pre-season campaign with a 2-0 success at Airbus UK Broughton in Flintshire.

Former Weaverham High School student Matty Fenton, in his second season with the first team, marked the signing of a club contract by scoring the second goal in the 40th minute.

Joe Woolley continued his rich vein of form in front of goal with the opener in the 33rd minute.

'74 head to Colne in the Emirates FA Cup extra preliminary round on Saturday.