Oakham United defeat Leverington Sports in Peterborough League Premier Division clash
Oakham United netted a vital victory despite their performance failing to hit the heights of recent weeks in a contest that saw three red cards on Saturday.
Adam Rothery and Ash Chamberlain each netted the goals in the 2-0 win against a Leverington side who finished the match with nine men following two dismissals.
Oakham also had youngster Aidan Quinn sent off in the second half of the contest which saw the hosts register their third win of the Peterborough League Premier Division season.
Manager Seb Hayes said: "It was probably the worst we have played in the last five or six games but we'll definitely take the three points and a clean sheet.
"It would have been a really hard game for us if Leverington had kept 11 players on the pitch because we were not at it at all."
An end-to-end opening to the contest saw Oakham start to take control as the first half wore on.
Leverington missed a good chance when home goalkeeper Jamie Stephens saved well in a one-on-one before Oakham broke the deadlock.
Ash Chamberlain collected possession just past the centre circle and moved forward before threading a fine pass through for Rothery to latch onto and cap off a well-timed run by rounding the keeper and tapping home for his fourth goal in the last five games.
Leverington were then reduced to 10 men before half-time when Jordan Webb was red-carded for violent conduct after a clash with Quinn who was booked.
The 10 men did come close to equalising as they created another chance and broke clear but Stephens again thwarted the visitors.
Leverington then had Adam Conyard sin-binned for dissent and the sting started to go out of the contest as Oakham held their lead until the break.
The stop-start nature of the match continued in the second period with Oakham doubling their lead when Chamberlain headed home from a corner.
Leverington were then reduced to nine men when Kieran Bates was red-carded for picking the ball up and throwing it an Oakham player.
Quinn then collected his second caution for an innocuous foul and Oakham's hopes of increasing their lead were denied by the visiting keeper who produced several fine saves in the latter stages of the contest.
Hayes added: "Once we got the second goal we knew that with 20 minutes remaining we weren't going to lose the game.
"I was really pleased for Ash because he's such a good bloke and he came back in after missing a couple of games to give us a physical presence because Leverington are always a big, tough side.
"We matched their strength and size and I was pleased to score from a setpiece as well because it's something we have worked on in training regularly.
"It's the first time we have scored from a corner this season so I am hoping we can now go on and keep doing it because, in my first spell at the club, we were really strong at it and scored a lot of goals from them."
Oakham are back in action at Lands' End Meadow again on Saturday when they host Oundle Town in a quick-fire return meeting of the two sides.
Oundle ran out 2-1 winners a fortnight ago after scoring twice in the last 15 minutes of the contest.
Hayes continued: "It was really important to win at home on Saturday and we've now got to back it up again this weekend.
"We controlled the game for long periods at Oundle and, if we can put right the last 15 minutes, we believe that we can get a result.
"Oundle are a good side but, after what happened last time, it should be really easy to motivate the lads. It will be fresh in the memory and hopefully we will look to put it right."