SUTTON United opened up a three-point gap at the top of the table in maintaining their unbeaten start to the campaign with a hard-fought 1-1 draw at Ewyas Harold.

With Harold just about getting the better of the quiet opening exchanges with efforts from Tom Herbert, James Wood and Matt Pitt, it was Sutton who took the lead on 22 minutes when Tim Rutherford found Stuart New and he rounded the keeper to score.

After speculative efforts by Anthony McQuaid for Sutton and Matt Smalley for Harold, it was the latter who equalised for the home team from the spot just before half time when John Ferneyhough was brought down in the area. Sutton’s Green was given his marching orders for his part in the incident.

The second period was a little more open with Harold’s Herbert clearing a Keith Holmans header off the line and Owen Lloyd extending Gagg with a 40-yarder at the other end.

Sutton finished the stronger with Tommy Taylor making a vital intervention after a cross by Rutherford. Holmans cleared the bar with a header but Sutton had to be content with the one point.

At Broomy Hill reigning champions Woofferton suffered a 1-0 defeat when they were left pondering on the costliness of missing four gilt-edge chances against a well drilled and organised Hinton side.

After an early miss by new striker Chris Breakwell and a shot straight at the ‘keeper by Danny Gower, Paul Monteath eluded his marker to break the deadlock for Hinton in Dave Cooper’s bottom corner.

For the visitors, substitute Ben Apperley latched on to a lofted ball but failed with a simple tap in and Breakwell was foiled by a superb last-ditch tackle when the equalising goal was seemingly at his mercy in the 93rd minute.

Lads Club eased into fourth position with an excellent 5-1 home victory against Ledbury Town Reserves.

Although the city side started brightly, goalkeeper Steve Bell was called upon to make a good save from a volley, before Keith Jones swept up the other end to feed Mike Olive for the opening goal on 15 minutes.

Jon Roche squared for Jones to make it 2-0 and Luke Darlington made it three with a fierce volley before Ledbury’s Mitch Preedy reduced the arrears to 3-1 at half time.

After the interval, Jones stole clear to claim his second goal and Roche completed the scoring with a far post strike on 70 minutes after good linking between Darlington, Olive and himself. Three substitutions maintained the momentum for Lads Club to put the seal on a convincing performance.

Leominster Town broke their seasonal duck when they annihilated Fownhope 11-0 with a buccaneering performance.

The writing was on the wall for the luckless visitors in the very first minute when Sam Bowen’s flick was missed by the defence and Terry Williams was able to slot home the first of six goals on an afternoon of personal triumph.

Fownhope offered little resistance to Town’s assured team play and were 6-0 down at the break.

The one-way traffic continued unabated and Bowen and Paul Jones both bagged a brace to complement Williams’ memorable double hat-trick.

Mark Rusling’s stunning long-range shot completed the drubbing.

At Mill Street, Kington’s disastrous start to the season continued with visitors Ross Town emerging 5-0 runaway winners.

Mark Parnham headed the opening goal from an Andrew Densley cross in the first period to give the South Herefordshire side a half-time advantage.

Justin Halfpenny added a second and Parnhman went on to complete a treble before Aidan Cook rounded things off.