HILLINGDON Borough started their season with defeat after a last minute winner consigned them to a 2-1 loss away to Stotfold.

After conceding in the first half, the side managed to get level through Rob Laney but the home side were rewarded for pressing late on with full back Ryan Nicholl sent through on goal to shoot home.

Having lost both Jamie Houlliston and captain Tom Kirk within the first half hour, Hillingdon battled well with several new players making impressive performances.

But after failing to push on after the equaliser, Hillingdon allowed the home side back into the match and after missing several decent chances, it was no surprise when the winner came.


After a summer of upheaval at the club, Hillingdon were up against a side in a similar process of transition.

Hillingdon were the first to threaten, a long clearance from Luke Dennison found its way to Jason Kayila in the area.

He had the chance to shoot, but in choosing to pass, the ball was intercepted and the chance was gone. A further chance came from a corner but Rob Laney could only stub the ball wide after a flick on from Tom Kirk.

Kayila then had another chance after being found by an intelligent diagonal ball by Sam Hurrell (pictured) but he dithered on the shot and it was cleared behind for a corner. Hillingdon did eventually find the back of the net but Roy Byron's finish from a Hurrell cross was ruled out for offside.
 
Stotfold were starting to make an impression due to the interplay between Shane Brown and Ricky Young.

The pair combined to give Young two shooting opportunities but both failed to hit the target.

Stotfold's pressure told soon after with Kirk failing to deal with a cross in, allowing Matthew Clarke plenty of time to steer the ball past Dennison.

Not only were Hillingdon one-nil down but Kirk suffered an ankle injury in the build-up to the goal and he joined Jamie Houlliston on the bench. Two more chances came Stotfold's way with Clarke shooting wide before his brother Chris sent in a low cross that was missed by everyone.
 
Hillingdon regrouped in the second half and a Phil Brown-style on-field team talk by Hurrell seemed to galvanise the team into equalising ten minutes after the restart.

A flat long throw from Kayila was met by Laney who got in front of his marker to flick the ball home at the near post.

But despite getting back on level terms, Hillingdon did not then go on and press sufficiently hard for a second. The home side came back strongly and created several very good openings. Ricky Young was finding space both in front and behind Hillingdon's defence. Twice he shot straight at Dennison when well placed before creating another chance for Mark Ellis. He slipped inside Steve Lawrence but could only produce another weak finish.
 
Stotfold were now regularly finding gaps in Hillingdon's defence and Dennison made a brave save at the feet of Lee Pateman as he jigged his way through on goal.

But the keeper do nothing as another pass inside the away defence found Ryan Nicholl free in space and the right back showed considerably more composure in goal than his teammates up front as he calmly placed the ball past Dennison.