HOLLAND FC and LITTLE OAKLEY shared the spoils from a hard-fought, entertaining Thurlow Nunn League derby.

The first division south pair met in an absorbing goalless draw at the W&S Scaffolding Community Stadium.

They started the day ninth and tenth respectively and both were looking to get back to winning ways, after losing their previous matches.

Holland had gone down 3-1 against Wormley Rovers while the Acorns had been unbeaten in four prior to their Boxing Day defeat against rivals Harwich and Parkeston.

In a game of few chances, the hosts went closet before the break.

Steve Eaton saw a near-post header drop just over the bar.

Sonny Bastone then volleyed just wide of the right-hand post.

Oakley made a bright start to the second half and Stephen Polley nearly netted at the near post, after a whipped-in cross from Luke Mayhew.

Kieran Wales then went close at the other end, having an effort parried.

However, it was the visitors who nearly grabbed the points in the latter stages.

Matt Carmichael’s men engineered the best chance of the game after the most eye-catching move.

Some slick passing in midfield led to substitute Mark Palmer sliding the ball forward to Mayhew.

He centred from the right but Josh Merritt, waiting in the centre, could only steer his first-time effort wide.

Both sides were content with a point apiece and will hope to get back to winning ways next weekend, when they have key players available again.

Captain Joe Martin and midfield maestro Keelan Sorrell were missing for Holland, because of illness, and Reece Keating was suspended.

Oakley were without key trio Joss Neale, Greg Rodger and striker Harry Mann.

Elsewhere, HARWICH AND PARKESTON made it an incredible nine wins in a row after defeating WIVENHOE TOWN 2-0.

Both goals came in the second half, after a poor first period.

Jamie Beecham finished off a brilliant passing move to put the hosts ahead.

Tyler Rose then won a penalty, fouled after connecting with a great pass from Shaun Kioussis.

Skipper Jordan Heath stepped forward and confidently dispatched his side’s second.

The Dragons have now lost eight in a row.


Both sides started in the bottom five, with the hosts one place and five points better off.

That was the state of play by the end of the afternoon, too, after an eventful contest finished 3-3.

In the other game of note, COGGESHALL UNITED – buoyed by four straight wins and a 9-0 romp against Fire United on December 22 - suffered a 2-1 defeat at Wormley.

HALSTEAD TOWN were without a fixture on Saturday.

In the premier division, FC CLACTON finished 2018 on a losing note after going down 3-1 at home to Wroxham.

Karl Andrade had put the hosts ahead from the penalty spot.

BRANTHAM ATHLETIC had a day to forget, too, making the long trip to Gorleston and losing 3-0.