Battling Oakham United rescue point in 90h minute

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A terrific goal from the oustanding Robbie Pearce should have set Oakham on their way to a comprehensive victory.

But three defensive lapses and a failure to take chances meant that in the end they were grateful to earn a point from a 3-3 draw at home to Riverside .

Disappointed manager Wayne Oldaker said after a 90th minute equaliser earned his side a point: “I look on this as two points dropped.

“The scoreline flattered them and they only had one shot on target in the second half.

“At 3-1 down with eight minutes to go, most people would have settled for a point but I was disappointed for the lads, who deserved better reward for a gritty performance and some quality football.

“But it just didn’t go right for us in front of goal and we have to learn the lesson that we must take our chances.”

Oakham were much the better side in the early stages, but had to wait until the 30th minute before going in front.

Pearce, who is getting back to his very best form and was man of the match, whipped in a shot from 18 yards which dipped just below the bar, giving the goalkeeper no chance.

Inexplicably, United then dropped their guard and Riverside scored two simple goals to steal a 2-1 half-time lead.

Then, when all Oakham really needed to do was to maintain the workrate and enterprise which had given them the early clear advantage, things got worse.

Another lapse at the back presented Riverside with posession and they extended their lead with a simple cross and tap-in.

However, Oldaker then sought to steady the ship by utilising the cool head of experienced subsitute Eddie McDonald, and it soon paid dividends.

A clumsy challenge on Nick Davey earned Oakham a free kick and the tireless Pearce whipped the ball in for McDonald to pop up after a perfectly timed run to head home a fine goal.

Oakham threw everything at the opposition as full-time approached and they were finally rewarded with an equaliser on 90 minutes.

A poor clearance fell to Stuart Lambie and he clipped the ball to Ben Easson who headed home his 14th goal of the season.

With two games left, United still have plenty to play for and will be looking for maximum points against Pinchbeck on Saturday as they strive for a possible eighth place finish.

Oldaker’s struggle with injuries continues, however.

His latest casualty is marksman Michael Nelson, whose season is over after he injured an elbow in a tumble on Saturday.