LITTLE Oakley played out a 0-0 draw at Stanway Rovers in a mid-table Essex Senior League clash, writes LARRY DOBKIN.

The Acorns were missing seven first-team players, but gave further game time to some of their under-18 players who have been progressing well.

Stanway started on the front foot and worked a speculative shot from outside the box which went over.

Oakley were slow to start and a shot from a corner from Stanway flew wide and over the bar.

Oakley were struggling to get a foothold in the game and a well-taken corner was met by the tall centre-forward, forcing Lawlor into a fine save.

Stanway were having the lion’s share of the possession when a cross from deep in the Oakley half found the hosts' centre-forward.

He had a free easy header but placed it just wide.

The game entered into a midfield battle with very few chances and although both teams were working hard, there was no real quality.

Oakley introduced Alfie Canning in the second half which seemed to give them greater purpose.

Both sides were looking for the long ball and a pass played through the centre of the Oakley defence was narrowly cut out by Wood, who prevented a goal opportunity.

Oakley improved significantly in the second half and came agonisingly close to scoring when Danny Garrad's 30-yard free-kick beat the keeper but crashed off the bar.

Oakley were now in the ascendency and looking for a winner.

Oakley’s top scorer Harry Mann had an opportunity ten yards out and but his shot lacked power and the Stanway keeper made an easy save, as the spoils were shared.

Oakley's player of the match was Ed Nobbs.