OAKHAM United suffered penalty heartache on Saturday going out of the PFA Senior Cup in the cruellest fashion.
United led twice against Stilton United at the Catmose College but were twice pegged back and with no more goals in the added time, the outcome of the first round tie was decided from the penalty spot.
Each team missed one of the five regular kicks, with Robbie Dance United’s unlucky player. Stu Lambie, Tom Bain, Ben Dickenson and Craig Welbourn all converted their spot kicks. Skipper Eddie McDonald then struck the bar with the first of Oakham’s sudden death penalties and Stilton tucked their’s away to dump Oakham out of the cup.
McDonald had put United ahead in the first half, turning the ball in form close range only for Stilton to level with a 25 yard strike early in the second half. Liam Hollingworth put Oakham back in front with a volley from the edge of the area but Stilton drew level for a second time when Tom Bain was penalised for handball in the area and the visitors converted the first penalty of the afternoon.
Oakham’s joint boss Pat Johnson said: “In extra time they kept their shape better but over the 90 I think we were the better side.
“The penalty was harsh. It looked more like ball-to-hand to me. But we must not be too disappointed because we played well and it’s a lottery when it comes down to penalties.”
Oakham play Whittlesey Blue Star on Saturday. When the two sides met three weeks ago, Oakham had to settle for a point after letting a 3-0 lead slip away. Ketton travel to Hampton Sports.
Match sponsor: CM Tractors. Ball spponsor: Ian Bryers Car Repairs
Stilton Utd Res 1 Oakham Utd A 4
OAKHAM United A maintained their unbeaten start to the season with their first away win of the campaign.
Oakham started brightly and missed a few chances in the opening 15 minutes, with Gary Rix hitting the crossbar and Dean Baines going close before the pair combined to set up Dom Gawden-Bone to score the opening goal on 20 minutes.
Within five minutes of the restart, Oakham thought they had a second after Jonny Woods headed home a Danny Williams cross, only to see it ruled out for a foul. Woods had another chance five minutes later after good work from substitute Rik Phoenix, only to hit the ball over the crossbar.
But it didn’t take Oakham long to add to double their lead with Darren Short’s long run finished off by Danny Foster with a shot into the bottom corner.
Stilton pulled one back when their winger beat three players before smashing the ball past Andy Collin.
With 15 minutes remaining Phoenix played a one-two with Foster, before seeing his near post shot saved. But, in a near identical move involving Woods, Oakham scored a minute later.
It was all Oakham for the remainder of the game, with Martin Owers going close from 25 yards before a well-worked corner between Rix and Williams led to a shot from substitute Odijie Oboh being poked in by Foster for his fourth goal in two games.
Manager Dave Grieve said: “It was another great performance from everybody and we were unlucky not to score more than 4. Mike Reeson at the back was solid as a rock and man of the match.”
Team: A Collin; D Williams, M Reeson, M Owers, D Short; C Baird, D Baines, J Woods, D Gawden-Bone; D Foster, G Rix Subs (all used): R Phoenix, O Oboh, D Grieve