Kington Town and Radnor Valley began their preparations for the upcoming season with a keenly contested local derby at Mill Street on Friday evening.

The border rivals have rarely met since Kington Town returned to the English pyramid at the beginning of the 1996/97 season and their last league clash at first team level was during the 1989/90 campaign in the Mid Wales League (South).

On this occasion it was Kington Town that got the better of their rivals, with an hard-fought 2-1 victory.

In front of a healthy crowd, it was the hosts who opened the scoring in fourth minute, when Jack Gittoes' overhead kick found the back of the net after Radnor Valley goalkeeper Otto Jones found himself out of position after coming to punch the ball clear of his penalty area.

The Goats, now under the management of Adam Jones, responded through Jack Williams in the 28th minute when he narrowly missed the target with a shot on the turn from the edge of the penalty area.

Kington Town went close to doubling their advantage on the half-hour mark with a header from a free-kick into the penalty area that flew narrowly wide of the target. Williams went close again just a couple of minutes later, after a corner taken by Liam Jomes was only partially cleared, when his effort from the edge of the Yellows' penalty area was blocked. 

Kington Town enjoyed a slender advantage at the break but nearly conceded an equaliser eight minutes after the interval. Taylor Wozencraft latched on to a long ball out of the Goats' defence but eventually pulled his ensuing effort wide of the far post.

The north Herefordshire club looked to respond three minutes late but saw a header fly over the crossbar from a corner.

However, the Mill Street outfit were eventually punished in the 65th minute when former Wellington player Dale Richards arrowed a 25-yard free kick into the top corner of Ben Davies' goal.

Kington Town v Radnor Valley
Dale Richards scored a stunning free kick midway through the second half to put Radnor Valley back on level terms (Barcud-Coch Photography)

It appeared that the arch rivals would have to settle for a share of the spoils, with the Kington Challenge Cup also a stake, but the hosts conjured a winning goal with nine minutes remaining on the clock when Gittoes headed a cross from the right past Jones.

The Goats were presented with a good opportunity to level the scores in the 90th minute, when Henry Shipley was played through on goal, but the substitute struck his effort wide of the far post that would ultimately see his team suffer a narrow reverse.

The New Radnor club ware due to entertain Llandrindod Wells (Tuesday, July 18) and Clee Hill United (Tuesday, July 25) in advance of their JD Welsh Cup tie at home to Waterloo Rovers on Saturday, July 29.