Thurlow Nunn League

division one south

OAKLEY started the year with a win against lowly Wivenhoe Town, thanks to goals from Lewis Wood and a first for Peter Maina.

The Acorns never really got going, though, conceding possession in key areas throughout the match.

However, they held on for the win against a side that fought to the end but rarely threatened their defence.

With suspensions and injuries, Oakley gave a debut to Bradley James.

An early chance fell to Wivenhoe's Myles Passley but Dan Joyce pushed his effort away for a corner.

From the flag-kick by Aaron Donaldson, Tonye Joseph rose but headed over.

A chance at the other end saw a corner by Luke Mayhew find new signing James but he headed inches past Reid's post.

On the quarter-hour mark, Mark Palmer's free-kick saw Lewis Wood rise well.

When the ball fell for Jay Barker, he delivered his cross too close to keeper Aaron Reid, who plucked the ball out of the air.

Reid was then alert to a through ball that Mayhew attempted to run onto.

Midway into the first half, a good move saw Maina, clear on the right, cross to Josh Merritt, who slipped at the vital moment and touched the ball back to Reid.

The next attack, minutes later, saw Wivenhoe have a chance when Ashley Sauka's through ball resulted in Passley beating the offside trap.

However, his shot went well wide.

In a half where both sides were guilty of losing possession in the middle of the park, neither were able to gain an advantage.

A Wood volley went close while at the other end, Joss Neale was on hand to defend well and stop Sauka getting through.

The breakthrough finally came on the half-hour mark.

Oakley were awarded a free-kick that was fired deep into the Wivenhoe area and Wood's towering header at the back post flew past Reid.

There was then a period of play where the visitors pushed Oakley back.

This caused panic at times and Donaldson pounced on Merritt's poor touch but hit his shot wide of the post, under pressure by Wood.

Two minutes from half-time, Oakley doubled their lead.

Mayhew drove into the area and managed to pass to Maina, who fired into the roof of the net from close range for his first Acorns goal.

Wivenhoe came out for the second half and scored an early goal.

Early pressure on Oakley's back four saw them back off Joseph, whose cross-cum-shot found its way into the net with the hosts static.

Mayhew went close again, latching onto a through ball by James. However, his shot went wide.

Oakley's midfield was dominated by James but the Acorns never made a clear opening for Sam Eldridge or Harry Mann.

At the other end, there was a half-chance fell to Passley after Palmer lost possession.

His shot went close - the closest the visiting side went.

Midway through the half, Barker found Palmer in space and with Stephen Polley making ground beside him, he received the ball, turned and saw his effort go inches past the post.

Oakley were again guilty of giving away possession but they kept Wivenhoe at distance, holding out in the final few minutes.

On Saturday the first team travel to Lopes Tavares, the reserves are at home to West Bergholt (2pm) and the A team are away to Belle Vue Social (2pm).