WOODBRIDGE — The Amity and Shelton boys’ teams may no longer be division rivals within the Southern Connecticut Conference, but the two soccer programs will always share an important rivalry on the pitch.

The teams opened the season Thursday afternoon and as expected, both are pretty equal. The only difference was a heads-up goal by Amity senior Ali Bobi in the first half. The Spartans’ defense did the rest in a 1-0 victory.

“An ugly win is better than a pretty loss,” Amity coach Mike Marchitto said. “It’s still tough playing them. I love having them on the schedule. It’s great having a tough team to start with because they are always a class program.”

Amity was able to limit Shelton’s scoring opportunities in the second half. Senior goalkeeper Adrian Gonzales was also up to the task, making six saves.

Bobi’s goal came in the 24th minute. Shelton goalkeeper Patrick Feliciano picked up a ball that the referee ruled came outside the penalty box, therefore making it a handball.

Bobi reacted quickly, knocking the ball into the lower left corner off the restart.

“I grabbed the ball out of his hands. I just put it on the floor, and I shot it before anyone was set up and it went in,” Bobi said.

Said Marchitto: “Most players, especially at our level, would just sit there and wait to get the proper play going. That’s a player who knows the game very well. … you watch, he will be one of the top forwards in our league.”

Shelton coach Isaac Montalvo said after he got the explanation on what happened he said: “I asked one of the captains if that was true and he said, ‘No, the ball was right inside the box.’ There is nothing we can do. The referee made the call.

“I talked to the guys that have to be more aware, have to be up every second of the game. The keeper was upset. (I) told him ‘You have to forget this’. Kids were upset to lose it that way.”

Arian Bobi, Ali’s younger brother, had a couple of opportunities at a second goal in the second half: one went wide while Feliciano saved the other one.

“I think in the first half, we did very well when we tried to possess the ball in the middle,” Montalvo said. “That’s going to be our philosophy. It didn’t happen a lot long. Then we started to play long and direct. For me, that doesn’t work. We have to play more to feet, try to find a combination of play.”

Shelton will apparently be without the services of senior forward Erik Lorent. Montalvo referred comment on Lorent, a Register All-Area performer last season (12 goals, 15 assists), to school athletic director John Niski.

“He is not playing on the team this year,” Niski said. He had no further comment.

The two teams will meet again on Oct. 7 at Finn Stadium.