It was a very proud day for Eastleigh owner Stewart Donald as his Eastleigh project got off to a fantastic start with a 3-2 win over Accrington in their first ever Football League fixture.
3,175 fans showered down to the south coast - including 194 away fans who travelled down from Lancashire - as the new 2017/18 season dawned upon all 24 League Two teams on what was a warm Saturday afternoon.
Liam Knowles' starting eleven was nine players different from the team that played out the Play-Off Final against Sutton United, symbolising a summer of extreme change as only Réda Johnson and Jake Pickard kept their places in the starting eleven against Accrington with the likes of Ryan Clarke, Ryan Cresswell, Jerry Yates and Devarn Green benched for this fixture.
The match kicked off at 3:00PM at Silverlake Stadium, Eastleigh, and by 3:03pm Eastleigh found themselves a goal to the good thanks to Moroccan debutant Younés Bnou Marzouk's third-minute opener hit the crossbar before thundering across the goal line to make it 1-0 to Eastleigh.
It took Stanley half an hour to get back into the swing of the game, though, with a 32nd minute equaliser from Billy Kee with a long-range shot which nestled into the bottom corner past Eastleigh's new Spanish numero uno David Armengol.
However, it didn't stay level for long, as Younés Bnou Marzouk fired his team back into the lead on the stroke of half-time in the 44th minute following some great interplay between Bnou Marzouk, Pickard and Nat Wedderburn in the final third, leaving a tap-in the only option for the forward.
Eastleigh went in as the leaders as Andy Haines blew his whistle for the half-time break with a brace from Younés Bnou Marzouk splitting the two teams up on the opening day of the season.
However, it took Accrington only four minutes to strike back in the second half with a 49th minute equaliser courtesy of Jamie Thomas as the striker finished off in style with a volley from a tight angle following an assist from Billy Kee.
The game only remained level for nine minutes after that, as it wasn't long until Jake Pickard got back onto goalscoring form, opening his account for the season with a 58th minute header from a Bnou Marzouk cross.
Although that was the end of the goalscoring, the drama didn't finish there as Nat Wedderburn received his marching orders in the 68th minute after bringing down Scott Brown near the halfway line - a feat he will surely want to cut out of his game sooner rather than later.
The statistics show a dominating performance from the Spitfires, with 26 shots compared to Stanley's measly 8 attempts on David Armengol, and Eastleigh boasted 57% of the possession of the ball.
Younés Bnou Marzouk deservedly won the Man of the Match award for his part in all three goals in a debut which sets his season up nicely from the off.
It was a surprisingly boring first day of the season on the whole, however, with only six teams in League Two winning their first match, with six draws meaning the majority of teams in the league are sat on one point from their first game. Eastleigh sit in 5th place as Portsmouth stand at the top of the league thanks to their 5-2 away victory over Exeter City.