LITTLE Oakley beat Woodford Town 2-1 at the Memorial Ground in their latest Essex Senior League clash to make it eight wins out of nine, writes LARRY DOBKIN.

The intensity of the league is starting to tell on the Acorns' squad with Brothers, Wood, and Lumley unavailable through injury.

But Rodger started the game from the bench after a six-week absence.

Woodford attacked from the off with some skilful play and took the lead after only two minutes.

The visitors' left-back collected possession on the left and midway inside the Oakley half before running powerfully at the home defence, before firing past Joyce.

Woodford had the bit between their teeth and continue to attack.

But while they remained under pressure, Oakley started to put some passing moves together.

From a free-kick 25 yards out, Mann's sweet strike saw him bend the ball around the wall giving the keeper no chance and levelling things up.

Oakley had got control of the midfield and Rowe was beating his defender at will.

The last action of the half saw Mann's speculative shot from long-range deflected out for a corner, as the sides went in at the break at 1-1.

Oakley started the second half slowly, allowing Woodford the build a midfield move where a cross was headed out for a corner.

The set-piece found the unmarked Anderson at the back post but his header was poorly timed and went high over the bar.

This seemed to spur Oakley into another gear and Rowe was denied by keeper Ali, after being played in behind the Woodford defence.

Joyce made an excellent save soon after Oakley had lost the ball high up the pitch before the hosts produced the best football of the game.

Substitute Rodger got behind the Woodford defence and hit a driven shot that Ali pushed out to Owusu-Boakye, whose well-struck effort was cleared off the line.

Mann fired his follow-up effort wide but Oakley were on top and had the bulk of the possession.

And when a ball from midfield found Garrard in the box with his back to goal, he turned and fired into the bottom corner to give Oakley the lead.

A very late tackle from a Woodford player as the clock ticked down incensed both benches, starting a 20-man brawl.

Referee Mr Vasile struggled to get to grips with the situation which should have been dealt with much earlier in the game.

Order eventually was restored, and Oakley manager Matt Carmichael received a red card.

However, his side saw out victory with Dobkin named man of the match with assistance from the rest of the back four.