LITTLE Oakley made it five victories in a row after winning 3-2 at a much-improved Southend Manor side in the Essex Senior League, writes LARRY DOBKIN.

In tough conditions, with the teams battling in an extremely strong wind and the pitch being hard and uneven, the Acorns fell behind in the 25th minute.

A free-kick 20 yards out was played into the area and fell to a home centre-forward, who calmly side-footed into the corner of the net.

Southend Manor were now getting on top and a flowing move down the wing which looked promising was stopped by man of the match Roy Harman, who slid in to put the ball out for a corner.

The next ten minutes saw little quality, with conditions becoming worse.

Both sides used the long ball, which was hard to control for both teams.

Oakley got back on level terms with what proved to be the last action of the first half.

Harman, who was showing impressive pace on the wing, whipped in a cross that allowed Owusu-Boakye to toe-poke the ball home.

Oakley made a change at the break, with James replaced by Crisell.

And the second half started with Oakley on the front foot and going close to scoring.

Nobbs' free-kick caught the wind that was now in Oakley’s favour, only for keeper North tip the ball onto the bar and out for a corner.

However, Oakley eventually took the lead when Crisell rose above the Southend defence and headed home a powerful header from Garrard's floated free-kick.

Rowe's shot flew narrowly side soon after and Garrard also headed wide, as Oakley continued to press.

Southend still looked dangerous though, with Joyce palming out a speculative long-range shot from the edge of the area.

However, Oakley enjoyed the bulk of possession and it looked like it was 3-1 when Garrard lobbed the on-rushing keeper from Mann's defence-splitting pass.

However, he saw his effort somehow drop wide.

Rowe's dipping shot flew marginally over before the hosts were reduced to ten men with 25 minutes remaining.

One of their players was booked for a second time following an industrial tackle on Owusu-Boakye and was duly sent off.

With the man advantage, Oakley pushed forward trying to put the game to bed.

Several half chances came and went until Mann showed wonderful strength and ball control 25 yards out before blasting an unstoppable shot into the top corner of the net.

With five minutes to go and Oakley seemingly in complete control Southend gained possession at on the right hand of the park.

After they had worked the ball to the wing and whipped the ball across goal, Nobbs tried to cut the cross out but unfortunately deflected the ball into his own goal.

However, Oakley held out for another victory.