THE red mist descended early in the Sydenhams Premier Division with a rash of dismissals on the opening weekend.
Alresford Town had goalkeeper Jarid Hixon sent off as they began their new era with a 3-0 Sydenhams Premier defeat at Moneyfields.
Having finished runners-up for the last two seasons, the Magpies have been forced to rebuild following the departure of managers Tim Cole and Danny Robinson – plus 11 of their players – to title favourites Winchester City.
Their new-look side, managed by Jeremy Stagg and Martin Beck, had the upper hand early on at Dover Road, but Liam Magee – a summer signing from Colden Common – slid their best chance wide.
Four minutes later Moneys’ Jamie Hore was brought down, allowing ex-Totton & Eling hotshot Dougie Rowe to open the scoring from the spot.
Alresford were reduced to ten men on the hour when Hixon collided with Rowe one-on-one.
Hore outwitted sub keeper Stacey Harper with the resulting penalty and Conor Bailey smashed in Moneys’ third from an 83rd-minute free kick.
Another player to get his opening day marching orders was Lerone Plummer, who switched from Brockenhurst to Fareham Town during the summer break.
Plummer fired Town into a fourth-minute lead against Whitchurch United at Cams Alders when goalkeeper Brad Snelling’s attempted clearance rebounded off a defender and into his path.
But after seeing another chance go begging, Plummer was shown a straight red after tangling with a defender on another run at goal.
Whitchurch, playing their first competitive game under ex-Romsey boss Carl Bennett, punished the ten men when Danny Phillips pulled the ball back for Jack Garner to side-foot home the leveller.
Then, on 49 minutes, the visitors won a corner on the right and Elliot Parker thumped a header past Luke Douglas in the Town goal, sealing Whitchurch a 2-1 victory.
Things lurched from bad to worse for Fareham when Wayne Boud, somewhat harshly cautioned in the first half, picked up another yellow midway through the second.
There were yet more red cards flashed at Western Way where Division One champions Petersfield Town marked their return to the Wessex top flight with a feisty 1-1 draw against Bemerton.
Ryan Coker’s exquisite chip pulled Petersfield back on terms after Graham Mankin had fired Bemerton in front with a hotly contested penalty awarded for Alex Ward’s challenge on debutant Scott Joyce.
A late spate of dismissals followed with Petersfield’s Alex Ward and Mankin sent off for two bookable offences before Town’s Phil Archbold followed suit for protesting to the referee on the full-time whistle.