Oakham move home match to Netherton to beat the wet

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Oakham United’s PDFL Premier Division game against Stilton United A may have been abandoned because of the gales at the weekend but manager Wayne Oldaker is convinced his side will not get blown off course in the league.

The game on Saturday beat the waterlogged pitches but lasted less than half an hour when the referee decided it was too dangerous to continue because of the high winds.

The score was 0-0 when it was abandoned and Oakham were playing well, having a strong penalty shout turned down. However, the result will not stand.

Oldaker said: “It is a pity because we were playing some good stuff. But I have never seen anything like it. The winds were vicious.”

Oakham are desperate to try to avoid a big fixture backlog at the end of the season, fearing having to play midweek games when player availability is a problem.

To prevent things getting worse, Oakham will play tomorrow’s home fixture against Crowland Town on Netherton United’s 3G pitch The Grange.

With their own pitch unfit to play on, Oakham played Netherton on an artificial pitch at Uppingham two weeks ago but have decided to move their match to Netherton’s larger and FA-endorsed pitch.

The Grange, in Peterborough, is 23 miles from Oakham but just 10 miles away from the ‘away’ side Crowland.

However, Oldaker does not believe it will reduce his side’s chances of beating their bottom half of the table opposition.

“They are three points in front of us,” he said, “and if we can win that we’ll close the gap down to just goal difference.

“We have got to kick on and we have got to start picking up points against the teams around us because we have not beaten a side in the top half yet this season.

“With a tight defence, and if we are ruthless in front of goal, then I am hopeful we can push on and get into midtable.”

Oakham are 15th in the 18-team league.