Caretaker boss Brownhill praises players after Oakham’s first win
Caretaker boss Kai Brownhill heaped praise on his players as a rollercoaster week for the Rutland club ended with their first United Counties League Division One victory of the season on Saturday.
After back-to-back league defeats and an indifferent pre-season, Oakham parted company with boss Will Moody this week and Brownhill stepped into the breach.
And the former Boston United Academy, Sleaford Town and Bourne Town coach admitted he was delighted with the response from his players who battled back after conceding a first minute opener to shock much-fancied Huntingdon Town.
Brownhill said: “When I woke up this morning, I thought we would have done well if we got a point.
“But I can’t speak highly enough of the lads and how they responded.
“They played with such passion and commitment which was the key to getting the win.
“Huntingdon are a very strong team who will be up there at the end of the season and we could have capitulated after conceding so well so I’m absolutely delighted with the performance and result.”
It took Huntingdon just a minute to break the deadlock as a corner eluded everyone before richocheting off Connor Hudson and into the home net.
Oakham, to their credit, responded well though and battled throughout the opening period as they faced a strong head wind.
Home goalkeeper Tom Bedford made a couple of routine stops while Jamie Waterworth rattled the Oakham upright after a marauding run down the left.
Oakham were more on the offensive after the break with Hudson and Corey Taylor both flashing efforts wide of the Huntingdon goal.
Their enterprise was then rewarded when Taylor robbed a Huntingdon defender in possession and calmly produced a composed finish past the advancing goalkeeper.
Oakham then grabbed their second goal with 20 minutes remaining as Andy Wright finished with aplomb after latching onto Taylor’s pass over the Huntingdon rearguard.
Wright had been moved into the home attack at half-time as boss Brownhill looked to inject some pace into his front line and the move paid dividends as, despite some late Huntingdon pressure, Oakham held out.
The visitors did have the ball in the net late on, but their effort was ruled out for offside as Oakham secured their first points of the Division One season.
They will be hoping for more of the same on Wednesday night when Harrowby, who like Huntingdon were relegated from the Premier Division last season, are the visitors to Lonsdale Meadow (7.45pm).
Cottesmore Amateurs enjoyed a stunning start to their Leicestershire Senior League Premier Division campaign with a 6-0 home win over Kirby Muxloe Reserves on Saturday.
Danny Seals struck twice for Amateurs with Chad Warman also netting before he was sent off just past the hour mark.
Substitute Jamie Black then took centre stage as he hit a 16-minute hat-trick to seal an emphatic win for Neil Miller’s men.