LITTLE Oakley started the new Essex Senior League season with a 2-0 home win over Frenford, writes LARRY DOBKIN.

The Acorns started the season with five new signings which bolsters the squad after the departure of Tyler Sullivan and Danny Garrad.

Jordi Papple returned from last season’s injury while new signing Joshua Fowler started in goal, with Bill Lawlor injured.

Frenford started brighter but both sides looked like they were a little rusty, with much of the play being in the middle of the park but not resulting in any clearcut chances.

A flowing move from Frenford saw an early cross into the box where Sam Ince attempted an overhead kick which was well met but only managed to find Fowler, who well placed and saved with ease.

Frenford were gaining momentum and Keiron David's run and cross along the ground looked to be heading for Ben Bridgman.

He would have had a tap-in but captain Wood, now in his 20th season at Oakley, remained switched on and slid in managing to clear the ball to safety.

With 45 minutes gone, Oakley started a move from the back with a long ball to the edge of the area.

The ball was flicked on into the box and Mann placed the ball past the keeper from close range to put Oakley 1-0 up.

Oakley started the second half on the front foot, finding better unity in the team and giving Frenford more attacking problems.

Adie Cant grew into his role on the wing where his cross into the box found Rowe but good defending from Michael Onafuya deflected the ball off for a corner.

Oakley started bringing players on from the bench, with Rodger introduced on the left wing.

In a game that was played in a particularly good spirit, Rodger's tackle which seemed innocuous was met with a yellow card.

Frenford were finding it hard to get any pressure on the Oakley goal when a speculative ball up field to the edge of the box saw a snapshot which was deflected and cleared to safety.

After Frenford played a long ball out of defence which went straight into touch, Rodger went to take the throw.

The referee had words with Roger thinking he was time wasting and after a verbal exchange between the two, the Acorns player was sent off.

Oakley did not let being reduced to ten men bother them, though.

After a flowing move, Rowe laid the perfect ball to Papple who at full pace smashed the ball into the roof of the net.

The last action of the game saw Frenford’s best move of the game where a good cross into the box found David who side-footed the ball marginally wide of the post.

However, Oakley stood firm to claim an opening-day win.

Oakley's player of the match was Harry Mann, who opened his league account for the season and is always working hard for the team.