Thurlow Nunn League

division one south

TWO first-half goals from Sam Eldridge and a Luke Mayhew strike secured victory in a match dominated by Oakley.

On a difficult surface, an early effort by Mendes went soaring over the bar, having latched onto a through ball by Silva.

Silva was then too strong for Joss Neale and saw his effort tipped over the bar by Dan Joyce.

At the other end, keeper Fernandes, franticly back-pedalling, tipped over a Mayhew cross.

A great tackle by Bradley James stopped Quebe's momentum and Oakley broke and pressurised Lopes Tavares into conceding a corner.

Josh Merriott was crudely taken out but good advantage was played by referee Eruero.

Oakley pushed on before Harry Mann was hauled down on the edge of the area by Djalo.

On the quarter-hour mark, a deep free-kick by Jay Barker, to the back post, saw Lewis Wood head across the face of goal.

With two attacking players advancing, keeper Fernandes was alert and gathered the ball.

Another deep free-kick by Barker saw Wood head goalwards but his effort went wide as Oakley continued to put pressure on the home goal.

A first shot on target for the home side saw Joyce, at full stretch, parry the ball away for Mayhew.

Attacking down the left, he unleashed an effort that was tipped over by Fernandes.

From the corner from Mayhew, Wood stooped low to direct his header just past the post.

Oakley's midfield, with Merriott and James pulling the strings, commanded the middle of the park, with their defence standing firm, keeping Lopes at distance.

It meant Joyce was rarely under pressure.

When they did get a chance, Ba's lay-off to Quebe saw him shank his effort well wide.

However, the breakthrough came with ten minutes of the first half remaining.

Defender Silva was cautioned for a pull back and from Mayhew's free-kick, Neale's header was blocked by Fernandes.

With Sam Eldridge following in, the ball struck Eldridge and landed in the net.

Oakley doubled their lead three minutes from half-time when another free-kick from Mayhew saw Eldridge get up well and send his header into the corner of the net, with Fernandes rooted to the spot.

Joyce was adjudged to have handled outside the area but a poor free-kick ended the half.

Mark Palmer gave a silly foul away five minutes into the second half, on the edge of the area and central to the goal.

However, yet again, Quebe stepped up and executed a poor kick which Oakley cleared.

The following cross by Silva saw Neale defend well, as the home side put Oakley under early pressure.

With the game opening up and the home side getting frustrated, Oakley started to get on top and push Lopes back.

When a quick throw from Barker released Mann, he saw his shot pushed around the post.

From the corner by Mayhew, Wood saw his volley cleared off the line by Jassi.

Just past the hour, determination from Mayhew on the far edge of the area ran onto a block tackle by Mann.

With the home defence struggling to get numbers back, it allowed Mayhew to curl his effort past Fernandes for Oakley's third.

With cautions mounting up for the home side, Quebe's cross was cut out by Joyce.

Mann was released and with Fernandes closing Mann down, he brought him down and was sent off.

With the game petering out, there was still time for Lopes to be reduced to nine when Silva received his second caution with a late tackle on Merriott.

A final assault on the Lopes goal saw a good cross by Mayhew inches away from Wayne Blackman.

Nevertheless, Oakley completed a second win in 2019 thanks to an excellent team performance.

On Saturday, the first team entertain Brightlingsea Regent Reserves (3pm) while the A team travel to Bures United (2pm).

On Tuesday night, the reserves are at home to West Bergholt (7.45pm).