Oakham United made to fight for league victory

Oakham United v Sawtry. Photo: Geoff Atton EMN-140112-142517001
Oakham United v Sawtry. Photo: Geoff Atton EMN-140112-142517001

Oakham United took their winning run to an incredible 11 games on Saturday but they were made to work for their 4-1 victory at home to Sawtry.

United came from a goal down to claim victory and extend their remarkable run which has taken them to the summit of the PDFL Premier Division.

Oakham United v Sawtry. Photo: Geoff Atton EMN-140112-142409001

Oakham United v Sawtry. Photo: Geoff Atton EMN-140112-142409001

Oakham manager Wayne OIdaker said: “Records are there to be broken. When you go on a run like this and are top of the league, you leave yourself open to pot shots and that is what happened on Saturday.

“When teams come to us, at a nice ground, playing against the side at the top they raise their game 10-15 percent.”

“Early doors we were not at the races. We were miles off the pace and it was a deserved 1-0 lead they had, and they had the ball in the back of the net another two times before half time.”

The Sawtry goal in the 18th minute was something special. A through ball bounced into the bath of striker Brian Smith who hit it first time on the volley to give Simon Dalton no chance in the Oakham net.

Oldaker said Alex Brown’s wonder goal after 36 minutes, hit hard and high into the top corner from a tight angle, was important to his side’s comeback as it gave them parity at the break

The Oakham management told the side to have faith and up their work rate and in the second half they saw the results of their effort.

Oldaker said: “At halftime I was really worried but we believe in our boys and they didn’t let us down at the weekend. When I came here I wanted to assemble the best conditioned and most drilled team in the league and I think we have done that.”

“The boys have put in the effort and it is coming together. If we can stay in the game until the last 25 minutes we back our boys to come back and win it and that is what we did at the weekend.”

The massive improvement in the second half was inspired largely by the impressive play of midfielder Robbie Pearce. First he put Oakham ahead when he reacted quickest to a shot from distance and then a whipped-in cross just after the hour mark was too hot to handle for the Sawtry defence who accidentally bundled the ball into their own net.

On 81 minutes Brown scored his second of the game, this time from close range, after Pearce had put it on a plate with a well placed cross.

The victory keeps Oakham top of the league by a point, with two games in hand over second place Coates Athletic.

This weekend their attention turns to the ChromaSport & Trophies President Premier Shield when they host Rutland derby rivals Uppingham Town.

Oldaker said: “They will come and they will come fighting. In these type of games you don’t look at the league table it goes out the window. I am expecting nothing but a blood and guts effort from them. They will have something to prove.”

Kick off is at 1.30pm.