LITTLE Oakley fell to a 3-2 defeat to high-flying Enfield side at the Memorial Ground in the Essex Senior League, writes LARRY DOBKIN.

The Acorns fell behind early on when a ball played through the centre of the defence was flicked on, allowing an attacker to calmly slot past Joyce.

Oakley responded well though and equalised when Mann set up Rowe to control and hit an unstoppable drive past the keeper to equalise.

Dobkin was at full stretch to push the ball out for a corner while at the other end, Joyce pushed a 20-yard effort around the post for a corner.

The game was evenly contested with both teams having good attacks while coupled with good defending.

Oakley were playing good football and took the lead through man of the match Sam Cooke, whose 30-yard shot dipped past the keeper.

The Acorns went in at the break ahead but Enfield came out for the second half with a renewed conviction, mounting three attacks that all came to nothing.

While Oakley battled to keep the lead, a long ball out of defence from Enfield was gathered and laid into the path of their centre-forward, who fired a shot past Joyce for 2-2.

Oakley managed to get more of the possession and started to play the free-flowing football that had been seen over the past three games.

A direct move found Rowe on the wing and his defence-splitting ball through the middle of the box found Garrard, who was at full stretch but unable to guide the ball home.

A 50-50 ball tackle was then deemed by the referee to have been a foul by Rowe, who had previously been booked.

He was duly shown a second yellow card followed by a red, leaving Oakley facing the last ten minutes with ten men.

Oakley were restricting Enfield to long shots outside of the area and but still managing to get up field working the visitors defence.

But with only minutes to go, a long ball out of the Enfield half found the visitors striker, whose a speculative shot crept under Joyce’s hand and in for the winner.