SEAN Griffiths scored in added time for Whitchurch when they spoiled the first day of a new season for Northwich Victoria.

The Alport captain’s shot found the corner after substitute Joe Cuff had made progress on the left to settle the outcome of a close encounter.

There was added frustration too for Vics who had what they thought was a decisive goal disallowed moments earlier when replacement Morgan Crowther diverted Rob Doran’s header into the net from an offside position.

“Without his touch I’m sure we’d have won 1-0,” rued Vics boss Steve Wilkes afterwards.

There was little to choose between the rivals in the first-half; Jud Ellis shot at goal twice without troubling Vics goalkeeper Danny Taberner, while at the other end custodian Kristian Burzynski was brave to block at Brandon Barski’s feet after Ryan Winder’s cross dropped kindly.

The home team improved in the second-half and almost edged in front when Matty Clarke, off balance, struck an upright after Doran’s header reached him at the near post.

Harvey Whyte fluffed a simpler chance on 52 minutes, heading poorly after Clarke’s cross picked him out.

It was Whitchurch’s turn to curse their luck a quarter of an hour later when Alex Hughes’ deflected free-kick hit a post.

They appealed for a penalty when Cuff fell to the floor following a challenge from Northwich captain Joe Camozzi, although the referee was unmoved, and the result was the same at the other after Doran’s flick on appeared to touch a defender’s arm.

Camozzi’s weaving run ended with Burzynski blocking his drive before the to and fro of stoppage time.

“We didn’t play as well as we can, but Whitchurch deserve credit,” added Wilkes.

“They’ve got some very good players and will take points off other teams.”

Vics | Taberner (GK), Camozzi, Fleming, Winder, Kenny, Barski, Whyte (Connolly 81), Clarke, Doran, Brownhill (Crowther 74), Grundy (Kilifin 65) Subs not used Wilson, Fitzgerald Booked Fleming (foul)

Alport | Burzynski (GK), Minshall, Pickerill, Robinson, Ashman, Goddard, Johns (Jones 75), Skelton (Cuff 64), Hughes (Walley 82), Griffiths, Ellis Subs not used Dickin, Porter Goal Griffiths 90 (+3)

Attendance 228