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Oakham United defeated by Holbeach United Reserves in Peterborough League Premier Division clash

Oakham United were unable to turn a dominant second half display into a share of the spoils after a narrow Peterborough League Premier Division defeat against Holbeach Reserves on Saturday.

Graeme Archer's side had found themselves two goals down at the break after playing up the Lands' End Meadow slope and into a strong head-wind on Saturday.

But, with the elements in their favour in the second period, they turned the tables on the Tigers and halved the deficit through James North.

Oakham United v Holbeach Reserves (24477256)
Oakham United v Holbeach Reserves (24477256)

They then spurned a great chance to pocket a point late on as Oakham fell to a fourth successive league loss.

Archer said: "We found it difficult to get out of our half when we were playing up the slope and they had the wind behind them.

"We gave a couple of needless free-kicks away against a big side. The setpieces were in dangerous areas and they scored from both of them.

"We showed plenty of heart to want to win the ball which is great, but sometimes you've got to use your head a bit more when you can't get it straight away.

"We picked up a couple of injuries as well which forced us to change our shape, but in the second half we battered them.

"We got a goal back and had a great to chance to equalise, but didn't take it which was frustrating.

"It's just fine margins at the moment. We desperately need to find a striker who can score goals for us but it's difficult to entice people in at this time of the season.

"It's a rebuilding process and people can't expect miracles, but we can't keep giving teams head-starts though."

Holbeach were boosted by the inclusion of first team regular Adam Jackson and he went close early on with a header which flew over the home crossbar.

Oakham United v Holbeach Reserves (24477241)
Oakham United v Holbeach Reserves (24477241)

Tom Coote then burst clear of the Oakham defence only to be by denied by a save from Harry Stephenson in the home goal.

Oakham responded when Philip Andre was bundled over on the edge of box, but Reece Darby's curling free-kick was well saved by the visiting goalkeeper.

Holbeach then broke the deadlock midway through the first half when Jackson's inswinging free-kick from out on the right eluded everyone and curled into the home net.

Stephenson made another vital block to deny Coote who had found himself clean through, but the home goalkeeper then brought down a Holbeach attacker after charging out of his area which resulted in another free-kick.

Coote curled in the setpiece which again found its way through a crowded box to nestle in the Oakham net on the stroke of half-time.

Oakham rallied after the break and North rose highest to glance home a header from substitute Toby-Ellis Noakes' cross just before the hour mark.

But they were unable to force an equaliser and remain in 11th place in the table ahead of Saturday's home derby duel with Stamford Lions.

Oakham: Stephenson, Darby, Simpson, Chamberlain, Walker, Andre, Archer, Gooding, North, Greenshields, Hodson. Subs used: Burley, Noakes, Robertson. Not used: West.

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