Oakham Imperial 3 Desford 2
OAKHAM Imps survived a late fightback from Desford to secure a fourth place finish in their final season before their merger with Rutland Rangers.
With Oakham needing a win and Desford a draw to finish fourth it was a tough end to the Leicester and District Division Two season and it was the visitors who nearly took an early lead when they were denied by the post.
Oakham were quick to respond and Desford’s keeper made three great saves from Gabriel Oboh, Steve Smith and Stu Lambie.
But he was unable to prevent Oboh opening the scoring though with a delightful side foot finish on 23 minutes after a pinpoint pass by Dave Hudson.
Shortly after, Lambie doubled Oakham’s lead with a cool finish and Oboh was unlucky not to make it three when he skipped past the Desford keeper and slid the ball over the line from an acute angle. However the referee deemed the ball had not crossed the line and Imps’ lead remained at just 2-0 at the interval despite Oakham’s dominance.
The second period was barely ten minutes old when Seb Archer-Fern picked up the ball 25 yards out, cut inside and powered the ball into the top right hand corner.
Oakham appeared completely in control but with 20 minutes remaining, Desford got back into the game with a well-worked goal and reduced the arrears to one with eight minutes left.
Oakham held on and thoroughly deserved their win and fourth place having lost only one game during an excellent run in the second half of the season.
Oakham: Hicks, Short, Bottomley, Farr, Phoenix, Woods, Nicholls, Hudson, Smith, Oboh, Lambie, Archer-Fern, Madison, Clapton, Rix
l OAKHAM Imps Reserves have one match remaining before the club merges with Rutland Rangers who play their final game at Crowland in the Peterborough League on Saturday.
The two clubs will form Oakham United with plans to field three adult sides in the Peterborough and District football leagues next season as well as an U18 side.
Current playing and coaching staff from both existing sides are expected to form the basis of the new club with decisions on management positions due to be taken this month.