MONMOUTH Town, sponsored by Mandarin Stone, kick-started their Gwent County Premier League campaign with a 2-1 victory over Cefn Fforest thanks to goals from James Greaney and Oscar Elias.

After three heavy league defeats and one cup victory, the new look Kingfishers were looking to open their home fixtures with a victory against a well-equipped Cefn Fforest, whom had inflicted a 5-0 defeat on the home side just 10 days previously.

Managers Nick Harrhy and Jack Alderdice shuffled the pack and accommodated the returning Jacob Perrella and Luke Cleaves with a change of formation which worked well for Town from the outset.

A back three of Cleaves, Rob Laurie and Callum Uttley operated well in front of keeper, Cameron Circus and allowed the midfield quartet of skipper Ash Ford, Finn Thorp, James Greaney and Perella to control the game with ease. 

The Kingfishers enjoyed large spells of possession with the talents of youngsters Oscar Elias and George Gouldingay wreaking havoc alongside veteran player manager Harrhy. 

The deadlock was deservedly broken on 23 minutes after some smart link up play with Perrella and Ford led to James Greaney firing an unstoppable strike past the Fforest keeper. 

Town continued to dominate, but failed to take any further chances before the break. 

But they continued their impressive play in the second half and freshened things up shortly after the interval with the introduction of Matt Jones, Ebra Ndure and Dave Elworthy replacing Ford, Harrhy and goal scorer Greaney.

And on 70 minutes the Kingfishers extended their lead with an emphatic finish by youngster Elias after good work by Thorp.

Sam Williams then replaced Elias who had worked tirelessly all game. But a second yellow for Gouldingay and a sin bin for Uttley left the Kingfishers needing to see the final 10 minutes out with nine men though. 

Cefn pulled one back, but some resilient defending saw the Kingfishers over the line 2-1 for a deserved three points after an impressive performance for a very young side.

Monmouth Reserves and U18s both enjoyed opening day wins with Ollie Moss grabbing himself a hat-trick for the former, backed by one for Ruben Berry and a late penalty for Noddy Swingwood in a 5-4 win at Caldicot Castle.

The U18s overcame Pill 6-1 at the Sportsground with goals from Lewys Evans, Harry Williams, Gouldingay, Noah Rice and two for Kian Mills.

The Kingfishers 1st XI host Coed Eva this evening (Wed, Sept 6) in a 6.15pm kick-off at the Sportsground, followed by Croesyceiliog on Saturday afternoon (Sept 9).