Oakham United didn’t get their season off to the best of starts as they suffered a heavy 7-1 defeat at home to Coates Athletic in the first round of the President Premier Shield.
The opening 10 minutes of the match were scrappy, with the ball spending most of that time in the midfield area and neither team created any real chances.
However, Coates did put together a couple of opportunities and pounced on two mistakes in the Oakham defence to give themelves a two-nil lead by the 20-minute mark.
Oakham didn’t let their heads drop and they played some good football.
That determination paid off as theywere rewarded with an outstanding solo goal with 10 minutes remaining in the half.
Steve Hibberd received the ball inside the Coates half, dribbled past two players before spinning over the ball to beat another two and then lobbing the keeper from just outside the penalty area.
Oakham continued to press and create chances but the whistle for half-time just as they were hitting their stride.
The second half started in much the same way as the first with few chances, but Oakham then conceded a silly penalty, which Coates converted.
The home side tried to get back into the game and even had a goal harshly ruled out for offside.
However it was not meant to be. United tired towards the end and Coates took full advantage.
Playing some good football, the visitors scored four in the last 20 minutes to make it 7-1.
Manager Pat Johnson was away so joint reserve team managers David Grieve and Jamie Saddington were in charge on the day
Grieve said: “Despite the scoreline, it wasn’t a 7-1 game.
“Even at 2-0 and 3-1 the lads tried to push on and get a goal back and get some momentum but sadly, it wasn’t to be.
“We’ve got to pick ourselves up and focus on the league now, starting with Uppingham tonight (Tuesday).”
Team: Andy Collin, Philip Noonan (Rik Phoenix), Jamie Saddington, Lee Wood, Aaron Simpson Carl Simpson, Steve Hibberd (Ben Jones), Robbie Dance, James Dalby; Craig Ward (Chris Steele), Will Lee. Unused subs: Neil Smith, Danny Foster
Match & Ball sponsor: Tim Norton