It was a perfect start to the season for Folkestone Invicta as Ibrahim Olutade fired in a hat-trick in a 4-0 win at Wingate & Finchley in Isthmian Premier.
A new-look Invicta side contained five debutants but they were dealt an early blow when Andy Drury had to be replaced by Will Moses inside the first 10 minutes.
But Olutade volleyed them ahead just before half-time and promptly doubled the lead after going clean through early in the second half.
Olutade completed a 15-minute hat-trick after converting Kane Penn’s cross before David Smith marked his return to the club with the fourth goal a minute from time.
Invicta host Chatham, who also got off the mark with a 1-0 win over Bognor, on Tuesday night. Read the full match report from Chatham here.
Ben Greenhalgh missed an early penalty but Margate still had enough to defeat Whitehawk 2-1 at Hartsdown Park, thanks to a Phil Roberts brace.
Steve Cawley won an early spot-kick after a foul by Whitehawk keeper Mitch Walker, but he redeemed himself by denying Greenhalgh.
Gate took the lead through Roberts’ excellent finish on 34 minutes but Jack Dixon’s levelled the scores in first-half stoppage time.
It needed another impressive strike from Roberts with 10 minutes left to claim all three points for the home side.
Cray Wanderers, who reached the play-offs last season, went down 1-0 at Lewes, for whom ex-Gills midfielder Chris Whelpdale scored the only goal of the game after 30 minutes.
Lee Martin saw red on his Ramsgate debut as they were beaten 4-2 at Sevenoaks in Isthmian South East.
Ramsgate were already trailing 2-1 by the time former Dover, Ebbsfleet and Gillingham midfielder Martin departed.
Emmanuel Mensah gave Oaks a ninth-minute lead before Martin collected a yellow card just before the hour mark for conceding a penalty which was converted by Kieran Cadogan to double Sevenoaks’ advantage.
Alfie Paxman’s free-kick cut the lead with 17 minutes left but Martin was then sent off.
The 10 men levelled through Joe Taylor on his return to the club but two late goals from Solomon Baugh and Daniel Carr proved decisive at the death.
Adam Coombes came off the bench to give Steve McKimm victory in his first game in charge of Cray Valley.
Lyle Della-Verde won and then converted a first-half penalty to put Cray ahead at the break, a lead doubled straight after the restart by Matty Vigor.
Substitute Josh Osude pulled a goal back after rounding keeper Sam Freeman to slot home before Ayman El-Moghaebel appeared to have rescued a point in the 89th minute until Coombes had other ideas.
A blistering first-half display saw Hythe brush aside East Grinstead at Reachfields.
Aaron Barnes opened his account on his Hythe debut with a second-minute goal to set the tone with brothers Ethan and Liam Smith both netting before the break.
Brad Schafer added a fourth to wrap up the points for Steve Watt’s side, who make the trip to East Grinstead next week when the teams meet again – this time in the FA Cup.
A dramatic finale at Winch’s Field saw Herne Bay rescue a point as they scored twice in stoppage time to draw 2-2 with Burgess Hill.
Both sides had chances before Lewis Finney put the visitors ahead on the half-hour and Rob O’Toole made it 2-0 on the hour mark.
The game appeared to be up when four additional minutes were signalled but Bay had other ideas and Gil Carvalho netted before Archie Burnett scrambled in a last-gasp equaliser.
Sheppey also drew 2-2, Frankie Morgan’s neat left-foot finish earning his team a point at Broadbridge Heath.
Dan Bradshaw marked his return to Sheppey with a goal after 20 minutes but Tadley Bromage and Charlie Weller turned the tide for the home side before Morgan struck in the 89th minute, just moments after Broadbridge had gone ahead.
Newly-promoted Phoenix Sports were held to a goalless draw by Chichester City.
Sunday’s action sees Erith & Belvedere host Ashford and Beckenham visit Littlehampton.