LITTLE Oakley were beaten 3-1 at high-flying Romford in their latest Essex Senior League game, writes LARRY DOBKIN.

While the Acorns' form is good, missed goalscoring opportunities are proving costly and it proved to be the same scenario in this encounter.

The first half hour was a low-key event and Oakley’s first chance came when hard-working Mason Lumley's low drive flashed across the Romford goal and went marginally wide.

Romford looked dangerous when they started to attack but the Oakley defence were able to prevent any clear-cut chances.

Romford started a passing move down the left wing where tricky winger Finly Dorrell attacked Harman, getting into the box.

With Harman shepherding the winger to the byline, Dorrell fell to the floor and was obviously in a great deal of pain and had to be stretchered off.

With half-time nearing, a passing move landed at Hassan Nalbant's feet, dribbling across the goal area.

A rash tackle from Sibbons was deemed to be a foul and a penalty was awarded, with Kris Newby sending Josh Fowler the wrong way to put the home side ahead at the break.

Oakley started the second half with conviction and a Jordie Papple cross found Mann who slotted past the keeper, but the assistant referee had already raised his flag for offside.

Mann had another opportunity when his low driven shot was saved by Jack Dikson, who only managed to push the ball back into the centre of the box but the goalkeeper's quick reactions meant he was first to the ball.

In the 59th minute, Oakley put together the best move of the match.

Lumley progressed down the wing and found Blackwall whose cross found Harry Mann, who had found space at the back post to hit an unstoppable volley passed the keeper.

The next ten minutes saw Oakley in the ascendancy and it looked only a matter of time before they scored.

But when Adie Cant scuffed his attempted clearance, Nalbant's shot trickled past Fowler, who only managed to guide the ball into the corner of the net.

And Romford sealed their win in controversial fashion when Nalbant appeared to barge Sibbons in the back before cutting into the Oakley box and shooting past Fowler.

Oakley player of the match was Lewis Wood, who was full of endeavour and passion.