Sending off proves turning point for United
The sending off of goalkeeper Usaama Yussuf proved the crucial turning point as Oakham United were edged out by visiting Peterborough Sports Development on Saturday.
The Rutland side looked to be in control of the Peterborough League Premier Division contest as they searched for a winner with the two teams locked at 1-1 with 20 minutes remaining.
However, Yussuf reacted to a challenge after collecting the ball and, when he raised his hands, referee Trent Stanley had no option but to dismiss the goalkeeper.
Joint manager Stewart Lambie was forced to take on the goalkeeping duties again and an energetic Sports side took full advantage of having an extra player to exploit the space and create a winner with 10 minutes remaining.
Lambie said: "They were the better side in the first half as we looked a bit rusty after two weeks off.
"But we battled really well in the second half and looked like we would go on and win the game until Usaama got sent off.
"It was definitely a red card, but it was surprising how he reacted because he's such a quiet lad in the changing rooms.
"It changed the game because they are young, fit side and, with 10 men, they had too much space."
Sports had taken the lead in the opening 15 minutes of the contest as a tidy piece of skill saw a visiting player get to the byline with his cross being converted at the near post.
However, Oakham levelled in style 10 minutes later as the ball was switched into the path of top scorer Michael Nelson who took a touch before unleashing a first-time volley into the top corner of the Sports net from outside the box.
Oakham then started to take control of the contest but, after Yussuf's dismissal, Sports snatched the win late on as a through ball saw Lambie beaten in a one-on-one.
Oakham are away at Thorney on Saturday looking to complete the double over their hosts after a 2-1 home victory in the last game before Christmas.
Oakham United are now taking applications for the vacant role of chairman.
They are seeking someone who is passionate about local football for all ages who will be focusing on a strategy for the development of the club.
It is a volunteer position and the successful applicant will be required to pass a DBS check and safeguarding children/young adults training.
Anyone interested should contact the club secretary by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07817 578896.