FOOTBALL: Oakham United go down to St Ives Town in pre-season
Oakham United were beaten 3-1 away at Step Three side St Ives in their first pre-season game of the new season.
St Ives were always going to be tough opponents first up, with the home side recruiting heavily in the offseason having won promotion into the Evo-Stik League Southern, Premier Division, last season via the play-offs.
Former Daniels midfielder Tom McGowan had the first chance of the match for Town, as Oakham struggled to clear a long throw. McGowan hit the loose ball just wide.
Three minutes later Oakham stopper Quincay Showunmi was called into action to keep out a powerful volley by Josh Dawkin, stopping the effort with his body.
Showunmi then had to react quickly to keep out a neat lobbed shot when he was caught off his line, scrambling back just in time.
It was the Tractor Boys keeper who saved his side again on the half hour mark, bravely saving from another former Stamford AFC player, striker Andrew Phillips.
Phillips went close again seconds later but Showunmi pulled off another fine save to keep the score line at 0-0.
Oakham were under the cosh for much of the first half but Michael Nelson broke them out of their half, showing fine pace to beat the defender and then drive the ball into the box, which was almost sliced into the St Ives net by a home defender. The ball flashed just over the crossbar and from the following corner defender Gavin Cooke just headed a Stu Lambie delivery over the bar.
Oakham were struck by a double sucker punch just before the break, conceding twice in the closing moments of the half.
Hesitation between the United defence and goalkeeper was pounced on by Phillips who raced in to poke the ball home in the 41st minute.
For all of Showunmi’s good work in the first half, the goalkeeper, on debut, made an error to put Oakham 2-0 down seconds before the break. Striker Sam Ives took down a fine cross-field pass but hit his shot straight at the keeper, however Showunmi somehow failed to hold onto the ball and it squirmed through his legs and into the net, just over the line.
St Ives made nine changes in the second half, four straight from the off, and suffered for it, losing their rhythm a little.
Ten minutes into the second half Oakham had two great chances to half the deficit. New striker Nick Young had a shot saved at point blank range by the home keeper Spenser and then Nelson smashed the rebound into the post from a tight angle.
In the 77th minute Gareth Cooke had the misfortune of scoring an own goal for the Tractor Boys as he failed to effectively deal with a low cross after a stunning run from Guiy Mailancel, who beat three players down the left to create the chance.
With four minutes remaining McDonald pulled a goal back for Oakham from a corner, heading home a delivery from Chris Hibbitt.
St Ives team : Spenser, O’Malley (Land 60), Jarrold, De’ath (Moyes 64), Chaffey (Steel 45), Harradine (Higgs 45), Carden (Seymour-Shove 45), McGowan (Keating 45), Phillips Davidson 60), Ives (Lloyd 60), Dawkin (Mailancel 60).
Oakham United: Quincay Showunmi, Chris Kefford, Dan Jenkins, Gavin Cooke, Chris Hibbitt, Stu Lambie, Eddie McDonald, Robbie Pearce, Adam Rothery, Michael Nelson, Nick Young.
Attendance : 82