Two-time UK Championship semi-finalist Stuart Bingham admitted he must improve if he is to go one better this year, after limping past Chinese teenager Lei Peifan 6-4 in an awkward tournament opener.

The 2015 world champion arrived at the Barbican ranked 105 places above his 16-year-old opponent, and despite taking an early lead, found the going tough throughout a closely-fought encounter.

With the score level at 4-4, the Basildon potter notched a game-changing break of 62 to recover from 61 down and flip the game in his favour, and he expressed his relief after crawling across the line.

But with his name safely in the hat for the second round, the 43-year-old believes he is capable of much stronger performances as he bids to make the final in York for the first time.

He said: “It would obviously be nice to go one or two steps further than I have before, and on today’s performance I need to pick my game up.

“I came here with a bit of form and probably put a bit of pressure on myself to do well, and while some of the other big-hitters were cruising through my game was just getting dragged down.

“But as long as you get to six before the other guy in the first round you’re still in the tournament and you can come back better in the next match.

“There were a couple of frames that could’ve gone either way but I think my experience showed in the end and now I’ll go home, practice hard and come back stronger at the weekend.”

Elsewhere, Colchester’s Ali Carter booked his spot in the last 64 with a comfortable 6-0 triumph over youngster Brandon Sargeant, and the former world number two insisted he has more motivation than most to succeed on one of snooker’s most prestigious stages.

“I’d love to get to the Masters,” the world number 17 said. “I’m in a situation now where my son’s old enough to come and watch me play, so that’s an added incentive to take him along.

“The first round here was massive because if I’d lost it was a done deal and I was out. I’m still in the hunt after a good win, so happy days.

“It can be tough to get up for tournaments sometimes, but it’s a great venue and a great tournament, and I’m really looking forward to getting going again after a few days at home.”

>Watch the UK Championship snooker LIVE on Eurosport and Eurosport Player. Analysis from Jimmy White and Ronnie O’Sullivan.