LITTLE Oakley ground out a hard-earned 3-1 win over a hard-working Hackney Wick side, writes DAVID CHOPPING.

It was an important victory for the Acorns, in the Thurlow Nunn League first division south.

A fifth-minute free-kick by Shaun Kioussis saw Dan Rowe rise only to see his header crash against the crossbar.

And from the next attack, Rowe tested the keeper but saved at full stretch.

Oakley went ahead two minutes later when from the visitors' free-kick, they broke out when Dan Joyce released Harry Mann down the left.

His cross into Rowe was laid off to Greg Rodger to blast into the roof of the net to give Oakley an early lead.

With Hackney Wick back-pedalling, Rodger then went close striking the side-netting.

A long ball caught Lewis Wood out and with Lachoo in space missed the chance to pull the game level, as Louie Newland cleared well.

But the visitors equalised just past the 25th minute when they were awarded a penalty after Abril saw the ball strike the outstretched arm of Ed Nobbs.

Freitas stepped up and sent Joyce the wrong way for 1-1.

Rowe's good lay-off saw Rodger strike the post with Sanchez beaten and Rowe then tried a long-range effort but couldn’t beat a fully stretched keeper.

An early Hackney Wick chance at the restart went by as Joyce was pulled out of position before Mann broke and won a corner from which was defended well by Coker.

Just before the hour mark, the visitors should have gone ahead when Lachoo took too much time to allow Wood to get in a timely tackle.

Oakley were reduced to ten men as Rodger said a bit too much and was sin-binned for ten minutes.

But the incident actually saw Oakley grow in stature.

Wood's free-kick whistled wide of post before eventually Oakley went ahead.

A Kioussis corner floated into area was not cleared by Hackney, allowing Rowe to ghost round the back and blast into the roof of the net.

With Oakley back to full strength it wasn’t long before a third goal was added.

Hackney Wick couldn’t cope with Oakley's aerial power and another Kioussis corner to the back post saw Nico Farthing's towering header find the net with a pinpoint cross.

Oakley travel to May & Baker on Friday night in the FA Vase (kick-off 7.45pm).

Oakley's reserves travel to Gas Recreation on Saturday for a 3pm kick-off.

Oakley host Coggeshall next Tuesday night, 7.30pm kick-off.