SALE FC did not get the start to the National League One season they were hoping for following a 46-22 home defeat to Cinderford.

However, a debut try from newly-arrived Widnes legend, Patrick Ah Van, showed promise for an exciting season ahead.

After just five minutes, a 10-metre line-out saw Cinderford hooker Nathan Taylor drive over the try line and the score was converted by fly-half James Butler.

Butler added the extras to a second try on 12 minutes, followed by two penalties on 16 and 30 minutes, to give his side a 20-point lead.

At this point Sale made a tactical switch, with fly-half Chris Johnson replacing full-back Jonty Rawcliffe, Emiliano Calle Rivas dropping into the full-back position.

The change almost had an immediate impact as Johnson kicked deep into the Cinderford 22, with winger Jack Moorhouse following up and charging down the clearance.

A try looked to have been scored, but was disallowed.

Sale kept up the pressure and were finally on the scoreboard with a debut try from winger Ah Van.

With just seconds to go before half time Sale were awarded a penalty and a textbook catch and drive, gave Jake Barron a try.

Johnson converted the try, reducing the deficit to eight points at the interval.

But the second half was no better for the home side, with Cinderford dominating and Johnson receiving a yellow card for a high tackle.

A late consolation try from sub Teddy Leatherbarrow, brought home a bonus point but it was too little, too late.