United crash out in semi-finals

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Oakham United’s A team crashed out of the Peterborough and District League Shield at the semi-final stage on Saturday, losing 5-2 to Thorney Reserves

The match was preceded by a minute’s silence for Oakham’s former chairman and president Barry Clarke.

Oakham started the game brightly and, despite an early injury to Liam Mullineaux, they went 1-0 up after only five minutes. Good play on the left from Darren Short and Danny Williams resulted in Oakham winning a corner, from which Danny Foster scored directly with the aid of a near-post deflection.

However it went downhill from there and by the 30 minute mark, three defensive errors and a penalty had led to Thorney opening up a 4-1 lead.

Oakham changed their formation at half time and made a substitution which seemed to put them back into contention. They began to play the ball better and created half chances through Danny Williams and Gary Rix.

However, despite their improvement, Oakham struggled to open up any clear cut chances until the 70th minute when Jonny Woods’ miscued free kick was fumbled into the net by the Thorney goalkeeper. To Oakham’s frustration, he referee thought the keeper was fouled and disallowed the goal.

Oakham never gave up and pulled one back with five minutes remaining through substitute Jason Short, who converted a cross from close range. It proved to be in vain when a gamble from Oakham’s defence didn’t pay off and Thorney’s substitute finished a one-on-one.

United manager Dave Grieve said: “Our first half performance cost us the match. We struggled to get the ball clear and they took their chances.

“We wanted to get to the final for Barry but sadly, it wasn’t to be. Now we have to concentrate on securing a play off spot.”

Oakham: Liam Cope, Darren Short, Jamie Saddington (Matt Perry), Nathan Bottomley, Martin Owers, Liam Mullineaux (Danny Williams), Jonny Woods, Dean Baines, Jamie Palmer, Gary Rix (Jason Short), Danny Foster (Alex Owers). Unused sub: Dave Grieve.