Christ Church 2 – Balliol 6 HAVING just missed out promotion to the Premier Division last season, Christ Church would no doubt have been hoping to begin the long process of atonement with a win against newly promoted Balliol. It was certainly not to be, however, as Balliol produced an emphatic early-season performance that will certainly lend weight to their promotion chances.Balliol can attribute much of their victory to fine performances from Rory Campbell, and in particular David Lawson, who had a debut to remember as he bagged a hat trick.Lawson’s season started in perfect fashion, as he beat Christ Church defence who appeared to still be on vacation to round a fine move by Balliol.Christ Church managed to find their way into the game after conceding, and were much the better side for the next twenty minutes. Pacy striker Bola Ogidan was a definite threat, and he should have equalised after fifteen minutes, but after having been released he shot tamely against the keeper. Then, all of a sudden, Christ Church found themselves two goals down. From a Christ Church corner, Ted Maxwell broke with terrific pace, and earned his side a corner. Christ Church totally failed to clear their lines, and defender Andy Salisbury smashed a powerful header against the post. Not to worry, though, as he duly stuck the rebound away.Ogidan then hauled Christ Church back into the game, winning a penalty as a Balliol defender bundled him over rather unceremoniously, despite his initial shot having been saved by the keeper. Andy Sissons stepped up and calmly sent the keeper the wrong way.And it was so nearly all square with just two minutes of the second half gone. Sissons swung in a fabulous left footed corner that hit the bar, with the keeper two yards off his line.Despite Christ Church dominating the next fifteen minutes, they did their level best to throw the game away as James Corke-Webster launched into a challenge that could only be described as clumsy on Maxwell. However, skipper Ian Mainwaring temporarily kept his side in the game, making a fine save low to his right from Campbell’s penalty. Indeed, without some terrific saves from their captain, Christ Church could quite easily have conceded ten.The penalty reprieve lasted a mere two minutes, as a suicidal back pass was intercepted by Maxwell, who rounded Mainwaring and fired into an unguarded net.The concession of the third goal seemed to shatter Christ Church’s confidence, and after enjoying a strong twenty minutes, Balliol scored, albeit somewhat fortuitously. Mainwaring made another tidy save from Jamie Hill’s run, but Lawson headed the rebound home.By this point Christ Church were shambolic. Ogidan sped onto a through ball, but managed to shoot five yards wide, and from the resulting goal kick Campbell worked the ball to Lawson. His initial shot was blocked, but he retained the ball, powerfully beat his marker and arrowed his shot in off the post.Even after a frenzied second half, there was still time for two more goals in stoppage time. The first was a consolation for Christ Church, as Andy Sissons fired in from the edge of the box. At least they thought it was a consolation. From the kick off Campbell angled a ball across the box, and Julian Rose swept home. Mercifully for Christ Church, that was the final action of a manic second half. For Christ Church, some urgent defensive work is clearly required. For Balliol, what a season appears to be in store.