Pre season had brought a new era for the club with the appointment of Duncan Warrender as the new manager and Grove looked to kick the season off in style at home to West Didsbury.
Warrender handed debuts to new signings Edmilson Justino and Martin Kelly but relied on the majority of the squad that had won promotion last season.
Grove were always in complete control and only a man-of-the-match performance from former Grove keeper Jonathan Thatcher kept the score down. Sam Davidson continued his goal scoring form with a hat-trick, Ben Brooks scored a brace and there was even a cameo appearance from the new manager who managed to get on the scoresheet with a free-kick
Hazel Grove 6 (Davidson 3, B Brooks 2, Warrender) West Didsbury 1 (Perry)
The following weekend Grove made the trip to Hough End to take on Manchester Medics, Jay Doyle made his first start of the season and capped it with a goal. Niall Brooks made a goalscoring debut for the club but it was brother Ben Brooks who stole the headlines, scoring four goals in a fantastic performance, the only early concern for Grove was defensively as Medics scored two soft goals.
It had been a solid start with two wins and Grove sat joint top of the MSMFL.
Manchester Medics 2 (Hancock, Hodgetts) Hazel Grove 6 (B Brooks 4, N Brooks, Doyle)
Brushes Rangers Spartak FC (we don’t know either) arrived at Torkington Park next and at half time the game was hanging in the balance at 3-2 to the home side.
Warrender had Bruce Roberts available for the first time and gave another new signing Adam Kissane his debut.
Callum Burgon hit a double, Stuart Fitzmaurice and Jason Walley all scored before Ben Brooks came off the bench to score to make the game safe. It sums up the game that keeper Phill Campbell was awarded the man-of-the match award.
Hazel Grove 5 (Burgon 2, J Walley, Fitzmaurice, B Brooks) Brushes Rangers 3 (Duffy, Fishlock, o.g.)
The month ended with the first big test, a home game against Beechfield United. The Salford based team were one of the most successful teams in the league winning multiple honours over the years and boasting a strong squad with several higher level players playing for them. The last time the teams met Grove knocked United out of the M.E.N Cup with a superb 7-1 victory so revenge was on the cards.
New signings Josh Taylor started, Adam Kissane made his full debut and Darrell Dicken was named on the bench as Grove looked to stamp their authority on the MSMFL 1st Division – they did that in style.
It didn’t start well Kyle Wray put Beechfield ahead after 9 minutes but for the next 81 minutes Grove played some of the best football since the club began in 2010.
Jason Walley equalised from the penalty spot after Ben Brooks had ben fouled and then Brooks fired Grove into the lead with a smart finish. Captain Paul Walley, moved back into the central defensive role, in place of injured Johny Renshaw looked comfortable and in control and kept Beechfield striker Max Leonard quiet all game.
Beechfield struggled to get into the game, with Grove pressing hard all over the pitch. There usual passing game was letting them down and their big players couldn’t influence the game. The Grove midfield trio of Jason Walley, Josh Taylor and Adam Kissane were controlling the game.
Before half-time The Bulls struck two huge blows. The Beechfield keeper brought down Brooks again in the area and Walley calmly slotted the ball home and just before half-time Brooks got his second of the game capitalising on a defensive error to end the home side in to the break in complete control.
The second half was all about Hazel Grove, for 45 minutes they produced near perfect football, controlling ever department and winning every battle.
Ben Brooks completed his hat-trick with one of the goals of the season, rounding off a fine football move. Sam Davidson got himself on the scoresheet as well with two goals, typical Davidson poachers goals.
The goal of the game belonged to debutant Josh Taylor. The ball was only half cleared from a corner and came out to Taylor 25 yards from goal. The midfielder unleashed a fierce drive that flew into the top corner of the net.
There was still time for Ben Brooks to add his fourth of the game, the striker has now scored in all four games so far this season and has already reached 11 goals.
Man of the match Jason Walley also completed his hat-trick, the young Beechfield keeper having a day to forget.
The full-time whistle came and Beechfield looked shocked after suffering one of the biggest defeats in their history.
For Grove it’s 4 straight wins, and second in the table behind AFC Middleton, who raked up another huge win beating Brushes 9-0.
FT: Hazel Grove 10 (B Brooks 4, J Walley 3, Davidson 2, Taylor) Beechfield United 1 (Wray)
The month was perfect, 4 wins out of 4, 27 goals scored and 7 conceded and a great start to Duncan Warrender’s reign as manager. October was not going to be as good for the Bulls.
PLAYER OF THE MONTH
Fantastic start to the season for Brooks, scoring 11 goals in 4 games and tormenting the opposition in every game played. With Sam Davidson and Bruce Roberts outstanding last season the introduction of Brooks and another quality striker in Edmilson Justino has given the club superb strength in depth up front.