Kidsgrove Athletic grabbed the first local bragging rights of 2012, with a 1-0 victory over Leek Town.
A game of few chances was settled on 73 minutes as Dave Walker finished Danny Smith’s cross from close range.
Leek created the best chance early on as Anthony Danylyk spotted Grove keeper Steve Hodgson off his line, but the stopper managed to back pedal and tip his effort over for a corner.
Grove threatened themselves soon after as Ashley Carter skipped beyond Tim Sanders, but his cross could not be converted by Ross Davidson at the back post.
Ricky Bridge tested Hodgson again before the break, but his effort from Sanders’ cross was tame.
Tim Grice should have opened the scoring for Leek early in the second half, but after being sent clear by Matt Haddrell, he dragged his shot wide of the target.
Kidsgrove almost snatched the lead with just under 20 minutes left, as Davidson cut in from the left but his deflected drive was tipped wide by Town keeper Joe McCormack.
The visitors took the lead soon after, as Smith’s deep cross from the right was bundled home by Walker from a couple of yards out.
The goal seemed to spark Leek into life, and they almost equalised right on the 90 minute mark as Haddrell headed Sanders’ cross against the upright.
Deep into stoppage time they again went close as Bridge’s cross was flicked on by Haddrell to Sean Turner who struck the post with a header.