Thurlow Nunn League

division one south

OAKLEY made it three wins on the bounce, putting five goals past a battling Brightlingsea side on a crisp afternoon at the Memorial Ground.

An early attack saw Sam Eldridge touch the ball into the path of Harry Mann.

However, there was too much pace on the ball and it ran away from the striker.

Good attacking play by Oakley ended with Lewis Wood, sitting on the edge of Brightlingsea's penalty area, slicing his effort wide from a pull-back by Eldridge.

Regent's first attack saw a free-kick awarded to them but, from a dangerous area, Lindoe produced a poor effort from which Oakley broke.

Fosker was lucky not to be carded, halting the hosts' progress down the left.

However, on the quarter-hour mark, Oakley opened the scoring when Wayne Blackman won a loose ball in the centre of the park.

With Mann in space, he caught the defence out and with keeper Smyth narrowing the angle, Mann was cool in sliding the ball past the Regent shot-stopper.

Ten minutes later, a second was added when Mann took advantage of a good ball from Josh Merritt, which sliced Brightlingsea apart.

Brightlingsea, playing good football, went on the attack through Pryke.

His through ball to Gilbert was well cut out by Jamie Dobkin.

Just after the half-hour mark came the visitors' first chance when Pryke and Gilbert combined for the latter to test Dan Joyce, in the Oakley goal.

However, he saved well with a flying stop.

A third goal was on the cards and a short corner from Luke Mayhew saw Merritt provide a cross into the area for Joss Neale to head home.

The visitors went close when Fosker was unlucky to strike the inside of the post.

The ball rebounded across the face of goal and was cleared.

An early attack at the start of the second half saw an important header won by Neale, from a cross by Hargreaves.

Oakley made an early change, bringing Mark Palmer on.

His first action saw him handball just outside the area, but Lindoe struck Wood on the end of the wall.

A strong run by Mann saw Eldridge in space.

Having done all the hard work, he only managed to shoot straight at Smyth.

However, just after the hour-mark, a quick free-kick by Dobkin saw Mann, in space, cut the ball back for Mayhew.

He caught Smyth out, sliding the ball past him.

Another flying save by Joyce denied Fosker from a goalbound effort.

Oakley dominated long periods of play again, with Brad James in the thick of the action.

With a quarter of an hour left, Mann picked the ball up and drove forward.

He found Palmer, in space, and the substitute unleashed a shot which came off the underside of the crossbar and bounced a yard over the line.

The assistant flagged to signal that the ball did go over the line.

The only blow for Oakley was near the end when Greg Rodger picked up a second yellow card.

On Saturday, the first team travel to Hackney Wick and the reserves entertain AFC Sudbury A in the Knockout Cup (kick-off 1.30pm).