Oakham United Reserves came away from a tough match in driving rain, against a resurgent Pinchbeck United Reserves, with their eighth victory from their opening eight league fixtures and remained top of the PDFL Division Two thanks to their 5-3 win.
Oakham started the match on the front foot and, like last week, there was an early goal in the game. This time however, it was Oakham who scored it, as Sam Linford’s corner was volleyed home by last week’s hat-trick hero Cameron Brookes, with his weaker right foot.
Oakham tried to add to their lead, but the closest they came was a Pete Shirley header that hit the crossbar. Pinchbeck took advantage of Oakham’s lack of finishing in the 21st minute, as Steven Jucikas beat the offside trap and beat keeper Andy Collin to a ball over the top and he rounded him, before tapping into an empty net.
Oakham retook the lead less than 10 minutes later, as Brookes turned provider and whipped in a low cross, which was met at the far post by Ewan Crawford and he put the ball into the roof of the net from close range. The lead only lasted two minutes though, as Mircea Vechiv was given time and space to turn just outside of the Oakham penalty area and he bent the ball into the bottom corner.
Just five minutes into the second half Oakham needlessly conceded a free kick 35 yards out, by the right hand touch line. Jamie Francis took the free kick and it sailed over everybody’s heads and into the top left hand corner.
Just over 10 minutes after being introduced Liam Mullineaux assisted the Oakham equaliser. He played Shirley in behind the defence and he turned past a defender in the area, before scoring with the aid of a slight deflection for his sixth goal in four games.
With 10 minutes to go, Oakham scored a scrappy fourth as Brookes poked home after a goalmouth scramble from a Linford corner. With two minutes left a Linford corner was headed home by Lucas Alais to seal the victory.
Oakham United Reserves assistant manager Dave Grieve said: “We played a lot like we did in the first couple of games of this season - started well, then faded and then finished strong.
“Pinchbeck have clawed themselves back from a poor start and we could see why - they’ll cause teams problems for the rest of the season. They looked to get the ball forward quickly and it took us a bit of time to get to grips with that.
“It was great to see the lads dig in after conceding a freak third goal. That’s the sort of goal that can completely kill your momentum but, the lads were still confident enough to push forward and get a few more goals of their own.”
Oakham United Reserves: Andy Collin; Joey Watchorn (George Maxwell), Aaron Simpson, Will Lee, Ash Chamberlain; Ewan Crawford (Liam Mullineaux), James North (c) (Lucas Alais), Sam Linford, Cam Brookes (Sam Watchorn); Nathan Arkle, Pete Shirley
Unused sub: Martin Owers