The battle to be named champion of the PDFL Premier Division took another twist on Saturday as Oakham United gained ground on their nearest rivals.
The Tractor Boys did what was required of them, beating Holbeach United Reserves for the second time in eight days by the same scoreline, 4-0.
The first victory came in the PFA Senior Cup, an important competition for the Rutland side but not their main target. All eyes are on the league prize and on Saturday the red hot Lewis Leckie and Daniel Jenkins scored to set United on the path to victory before substitutes Alex brown and Ben Easson put some gloss on the victory with two important late goals in the 90th and 91st minute respectively.
Important because the league could very well come down to goal difference and Oakham are now one short of leaders Coats Athletics’ total of 41.
But it is now looking increasingly likely that it will not come down to goal difference as little contenders Netherton United and Coates Athletic slugged each other into a standstill at The Grange on Saturday.
A cracking contest finished 4-4 after several lead changes with both managers, and most of a healthy crowd, describing it as a credit to the competition.
Dan Drane fired Coates in front before Netherton equalised from a deflected Fraser Sturgess effort.
It was 1-1 at the break, but Simon Flanz twice equalised for Coates in the second-half after Netherton had gone in front through Tom Randall and Steve Mastin.
Matt Heron looked like he’d won it for Coates late on, but Scott Taylor equalised straight from the kick-off to ensure a game that also contained several contentious decisions finished all square.
It was a better result for table-topping Coates than Netherton, but an even better result for Oakham.
Oakham host Coates in a huge clash on Saturday before the teams square off again in the quarter-finals of the PFA Cup at Coates on February 28.
Netherton have dropped to fourth place in the table following a 6-4 win for ICA Sports over Sawtry. Sam Makansi claimed a hat-trick for ICA.