Oakham United moved up to second in the Peterborough and District League with a comfortable 3-0 victory against Whittlesey United on Saturday.
Will Lee put Oakham two ahead in the opening half hour and Nathan Arkle added a third in a dominant display during which goalkepeer Shane Hicks was rarely troubled.
Whittlesey began the day just four points behind the Rutland side but there was a gulf in class between the two teams at Catmose College on Saturday.
Oakham were on the attack from the start with James Twose beating a sleepy defence in the opening minutes only to slide his shot wide of the keeper and post.
It didn’t take long for Oakham to take the lead however. Jamie Forbes’ persistence freed Craig Welbourne wide on the right. He pushed forward and found Will Lee, who with his back to goal in a crowded box, turned and fired the ball low inside the keeper’s right hand post to open the scoring.
With Robbie Dance and skipper Eddie McDonald controlling the centre of the pitch, Oakham repeatedly pushed forward. McDonald fired a dipping half-volley narrowly over the bar and the Whittlesey goal led a charmed life as United should have added to their tally before Lee doubled the home side’s advantage. His light flick fooled the visitor’s keeper as a free kick was swung into the six yard box.
The greatest danger for Oakham came when a low cross from the right went right across the face of their goal with neither defender or attacker getting a touch. The only other time Hicks was called into action was after a poor back pass left him exposed and the Oakham keeper smothered the ball at the Whittlesey striker’s feet.
Oakham should have been further ahead than they were at the break; and the only worry was whether, as in previous games, they may let their lead slip in the second half. But although they created fewer chances in the second half, Oakham never looked in danger.
Forbes and Tom Bain provided a solid foundation at the back while Welbourne and Cox found plenty of space to push forward as Oakham used the width of the pitch well.
Arkle added the third a quarter of an hour after the restart and the three points were safe.
Oakham, take on leaders Netherton United, who are five points ahead, in a top-of-the-table clash at the Catmose College on Saturday afternoon. Kick off is at 2pm.
Oakham: Shane Hicks, Craig Welbourne, Jamie Forbes, Tom Bain, Ben Cox, James Twose (Craig Ward), Eddie McDonald, Robbie Dance, Tony Maher (Ben Dickenson), Will Lee (Alex Brockbank), Nathan Arkle. Subs: Ben Dickenson, Craig Ward, Alex Brockbank.
Match sponsor: Edwards Engineering. Ball Sponsor: Royal Duke.