Job done for Bourne as Oakham show signs of encouragement
It was a case of mission accomplished for Bourne Town on Saturday as a goal in each half saw off a much-improved Oakham United at the Abbey Lawn.
Goals from top scorer Jezz Goldson-Williams and Adam Rothery sealed the victory which moved Bourne into the top 10 of the United Counties League Division One standings.
The Wakes were made hard to work for the three points though by an Oakham side whose industrious efforts will help them on the road to recovery after a torrid couple of months.
The gale-force wind was also a great leveller as Bourne recorded a quick-fire double over their Rutland rivals after last month’s success by the same margin at Lonsdale Meadow.
Joint boss Jimmy McDonnell said: “We went to their place and got the job done and this match falls into the same sort of category considering the conditions.
“We defended well, put away two good finishes for our goals and, on another day, could have had a couple more.”
Co-boss Phil Gadsby added: “It was all about getting the three points. They were a much better side than the one we played last month so it was pleasing to keep a clean sheet as well.
“The win moves us into the top 10 which is where we should be rather than getting dragged back down into the bottom half.”
Oakham were playing their first league match under the management of ex-Woodford boss Joe Featherstone and his assistant Ryan Hunnings.
And, with the club having conceded 23 goals in their last three matches before Saturday’s game, Featherstone was upbeat about his side’s showing.
He said: “I was disappointed with the final scoreline, but very pleased with the boys.
“The club has been through the ringer in recent weeks and the players are bereft of confidence, especially in the final third.
“But hopefully this performance will give them a bit of belief in themselves and we can start to move forward.”
Oakham handed a debut to new signing Steve Slack who has joined from league rivals Huntingdon Town and he had his hands full early on containing in-form Wakes striker Goldson-Williams who went close in the opening minutes after jinking his way into a shooting position only to see his effort blocked by the retreating defence.
It was Goldson-Williams who gave Bourne the lead midway through the first period when a cracking pass from James Zealand found the frontman in space and he rolled the ball home past the advancing Tom Bedford in the Oakham goal.
Oakham were content to sit back and soak up large periods of Bourne pressure, but could have got back on level terms shortly after falling behind.
Bourne failed to clear a cross into their box and the ball fell for Will Lee whose goalbound effort was superbly cleared off the line by Dan Flood.
Both sides suffered injuries in the opening period with Bourne losing both Tom Cardall and Jack Corby while Oakham had to reshuffle their pack with centre-half Nathan Arkle going off.
This saw Martin Bennett moved into the back four and, along with Slack, he formed a formidable partnership which Bourne had to be patient to break through.
A surging run and shot from Zealand was tipped over by Bedford as Bourne finished the opening half in the ascendency.
They continued to create the better openings after the break with Eddie McDonald at the forefront of most of their attacking moves.
He headed just over from a Robbie Pearce cross before providing a sublime pass which picked out Rothery who fired home Bourne’s second with 10 minutes remaining as a deflection took it past the Oakham goalkeeper.
Oakham pushed more men forward in search of a way back into the contest, but Bourne held firm to claim victory and build up some momentum going into their home Lincolnshire Senior Trophy quarter-final with Sleaford Town on Tuesday night.
Bourne: Brown, Elgar, Zealand, Flood, Moss, Rothery, Corby (Jesson), McDonald, Goldson-Williams, Nelson (Humphries), Cardall (Pearce). Not used: Botterill, Gray.
Oakham: Bedford, Moran, Coulton (Currie), Lambie, Slack, Arkle (Ryan), Hibbitt (Edwards), Bennett, Lee, Lawson, Patterson. Not used: Knight.