Oakham United looking for points against division strugglers

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Oakham United head into Saturday’s game on the hunt for another three points from a team in the bottom two.

The Rutlanders beat second-from-bottom Parson Drove 92 3-0 at their ground on Saturday and now face Whittlesey Blue Star who are propping up everyone else in the ChromaSport Peterborough League Premier Division.

United player manager Wayne Oldaker said: “It was an important result for us.

“Being at the bottom of the division means we’ve got to win these games against the other teams at the bottom to give us a bit of a cushion between them and us.

“We passed the ball well and controlled it and the work rate was there. It was a controlled performance.”

Oakham only had 11 players because of injury and unavailability. Oldaker was on the subs bench but carrying an injury himself.

Lining up as a 4-4-2 because of the personnel available, Oakham started well and were creating chances.

In the 19th minute they put together a flowing 12-pass move which took the ball from their half and into the Parson Drove penalty box. Danny Barker took a couple of touches on the ball and then smashed it into the corner with a left-footed drive.

Five minutes before half-time Oakham swept the ball from left to right and as the defence retreated Luke Ward slipped in front and put the ball in the net with his left foot.

Early in the second half, Oakham had another good chance with Robbie Pearce getting away a shot which was well-saved.

However, the visitors nearly allowed Parson Drive back into the game when they gave away a blatant penalty. Fortunately for them the spot kick was not the best and stand-in keeper Chris Steele managed to block it. The Parson penalty taker was quickest to react but skied his shot from three yards out.

The let-off fired Oakham into action and in the 54th minute they wrapped the game up with another goal from Ward after some nice play down the left-hand side.

United are 15th in the division, seven points clear of Parson Drove and Whittlesey who are both on five.

Oldaker is hoping Michael Nelson will be fit and captain Jamie Forbes has played for the reserves after a lengthy lay-off.

Given the injury situation Oldaker is pleased to be heading into the new year.

He said: “The table doesn’t lie, but I am pleased with how it has gone for my 16 games in charge.

“It is difficult to come in and change the style of play to a more possession and passing game, but the players have really adapted to it.

“There’s also lots of commitment. I’ve been in UCL sides where you get five or six players turning up for training, but everyone at Oakham is putting the work in. In that sense I am pleased with where we are at.”