An injury-ravaged Oakham United pulled out a remarkable 2-1 away win over Riverside on Sunday to move up to 13th in the PDFL Premier Division .
A double from Ben Easson gave the Rutland outfit their second successive win.
With a whole team’s worth of 11 players either unavailable or injured, Oakham’s first battle was to field a competitive side.
United played local rivals Cottesmore Amateurs on the artificial pitch at Uppingham on Thursday. But while the game, which Oakham won 3-1, was a good run-out for the players, it was a disaster in terms of injuries, losing five players during the match.
Manager Wayne Oldaker said: “I was delighted to win in such a manner. To come away with three points in these circumstances was very pleasing.
“The team spirit was top rate and the work-rate was there. The performance was there to see and it is the first time we have beaten someone in the top half of the table.
“It could have been even more convincing because we never looked liked losing it, especially in the second half.
“We are creeping up the league which is what we want.”
Oldaker was keen not to raid the club’s reserve team who were playing in the quarter final of the Intermediate Shield.
A make-shift defence was formed with normal goalkeepers Chris Steele and Neil Smith drafted in as fullbacks alongside Stuart Lambie and Odijie Oboh. Jamie Forbes took a place between the sticks.
Oldaker, 37, who is the first to tell you his best playing days are behind him, was forced to start up front.
Amongst the walking wounded were Ben Jones, Michael Nelson, Robbie Pearce, Jamie Forbes, Sam Munton, Nathan Arkle and Craig Welbourne.
Also unavailable were Ashley Clipston, Eddie McDonald and Tom Bain.
Considering the new look to Oakham’s side, it was hardly surprising the visitors were first to concede.
United gave away a penalty which Jezz Goldson-Williams made no mistake putting away.
However the penalty was the only time Forbes was troubled in the Oakham goal, with Riverside only managing two shots on target.
Easson soon levelled the scores after getting onto the end of a well-placed through ball from Robbie Dance.
Easson then picked himself up after being fouled in the penalty box to strike the winner from the spot.
Oakham have a tough fixture on Saturday when they travel to second placed King’s Lynn Reserves.
Oakham: Jamie Forbes, Chris Steele, Neil Smith, Stuart Lambie, Odijie Oboh, Steve Hibberd, Michael West, Ben Easson, Andy Buckle (Luke Ward), Robbie Dance, Wayne Oldaker. Sub not used: Andrew Bailey.