HARWICH and Parkeston gained the bragging rights after celebrating a 2-0 victory at neighbours Little Oakley.

The rivals met in an eagerly-anticipated Thurlow Nunn League first division south derby at the Memorial Ground on Boxing Day.

Both sides went into the festive fixture in red-hot form, with the Shrimpers having won seven in a row, scoring 25 goals, and having not lost since October 13.

Oakley, meanwhile, had won their last three and were unbeaten in four, during which time they had plundered a dozen goals.

On this occasion, it was Harwich who had the upper hand and they carried on where they left off on Saturday, when cruising to a 4-0 victory at previous leaders White Ensign.

Kieron Shelley’s side drew first blood when a free-kick was deflected to the far post.

Tyler Rose was well-placed to turn the ball home from close range.

Rose then grabbed his side’s second, latching onto a precision through ball and confidently firing past Acorns keeper Dan Joyce.

Incredibly, the match was watched by a bumper crowd of 580 people.

“It was absolutely brilliant and all credit to my players,” said Shelley afterwards.

“We’ve had a tough run of games, playing Hashtag, White Ensign and then our rivals, Oakley.

“So to pick up maximum points from those matches is a special achievement.

“The boys are so focused, showing the right attitude both on and off the pitch.

“I wouldn’t say we outclassed Oakley.

“It was a pretty even, scrappy game, to be honest, but we’re doing the right things in matches – defending well to keep clean sheets but also putting the ball in the back of the net.

“We always look like a side that’s going to score goals and we’re winning games in the right manner, with bags of confidence.

“We’ve got momentum but we’re keeping our feet on the ground and not getting carried away.

“I don’t mind other people getting excited and would never want to be a killjoy, but it’s important to stay humble and not run before we can walk.

“That said, we’re so happy with the position we’ve got ourselves in, especially with games in hand on some of the sides above.

“We’re a difficult side to play and we know it.

“We sense that other teams don’t like playing us because we’re awkward and tough to grind down.

“It’s great to be playing with so much confidence and, right now, it’s hard to see us losing.

“Long may that continue.”

With a bumper crowd in attendance, Shelley said it was a special occasion at the Memorial Ground.

“It was a fantastic afternoon and the match was played in the right spirit,” he added.

“Oakley did well and their hospitality was first-class.

“Everyone had a drink together afterwards.”