Late winner fails to quell Oakham outrage as referee refuses to accept a case of mistaken identity

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A late winner secured Oakham all three points against last season’s champions Pinchbeck - but it didn’t dampen the sense of injustice over Craig Ward’s red card on Saturday.

Ward had received an early yellow card for knocking the ball away at free kick but received his marching orders in usual circumstances.

Pinchbeck had been awarded a penalty that Oakham felt was harsh. Shane Hicks saved the spot kick and Ward’s teammate Craig Welbourne suggested within earshot of the referee that “justice had been done”.

Referee Reg Parker took exception and booked Ward for the comment.

Oakham, who won 3-2 with goals from Jamie Forbes, Alex Brockbank and James Twose intend to appeal the decision which will lead to a suspension for Ward.

Joint boss Pat Johnson said: “It was a good result considering we were down to ten men for 70 minutes.”

Forbes opened the scoring with a fine solo effort and Brockbank made it two with a goal on the break. But Pinchbeck, who have struggled early season, levelled before Twose’s late strike.

Third-placed Oakham face fourth-placed Parson Drove away on Saturday.

Oakham’s reserves remain at the foot of division two after a 2-0 loss at Guyhirn while Oakham A recorded their fifth draw in six matches with a 1-1 draw at home to Ryhall Reserves.

Oakham’s Gary Rix had a great chance to break the deadlock early on but his chip was saved and the game became scrappy with neither goalkeeper greatly troubled in the first half.

Ryhall were reduced to 10 men when Matthew Hunter was dismissed after a tussle with Oakham’s Darren Short, who received a yellow.

Oakham started the second half brightly and, 10 minutes after the restart, Danny Foster found the top corner to round off a fine team move involving Jamie Palmer, Carl Simpson and Dean Baines in the build-up.

Despite the extra man Oakham couldn’t build on their lead, largely due to the reactions of Ryhall’s goalkeeper, who saved a point blank Baines header and a 30 yard volley from the Oakham man.

With 15 minutes remaining, a lapse in discipline led to Jonnie Harrison tapping in Ryhall’s equaliser.

Oakham manager Dave Grieve said: “It wasn’t the best of matches, but I thought we’d done enough to get the win.”