AFC Oakley Football Club

Match Report – AFC Oakley 1st Team v Kempston Town Hammers First

AFC Oakley First 4 – 3 Kempston Town Hatters

It was a winning start for the Oaks as we finally got our league campaign underway against a new-look side now known as AFC Kempston Town Hatters. We were able to select a strong 16-man squad for the alphabetical top of the table clash which was ‘predicted’ by some to be a 2-2 draw but that score line was impossible┬ájust 18 minutes in.

Oakley started very brightly and an excellent driven pass over the top from Lamberti was raced onto by Green who steadied himself before finishing across the keeper into the bottom corner after just 4 minutes. The home side’s lead was doubled after another 4 minutes when McDonagh was able to chest control the ball on the edge of the box, before darting in and finishing left footed past the Kempston ‘keeper.

The third arrived inside 20 minutes when Green laid the ball off for Gillies who loves to shoot from range. He took a touch and sent a slightly deflected shot high over the opposition ‘keeper to put Oakley into a comfortable and deserved 3-0 lead. We were showing some assuredness in possession and getting in behind their defence regularly but needed to ensure we gave the away side no encouragement and really stamp our authority on the game. Unfortunately, Kempston’s encouragement arrived 10 minutes before half time when a freekick was tipped onto the bar well by Hamilton in goal, who despite best efforts was unable to keep the ball beyond the reach of Kempston’s number 9 who reacted quicker than our defence to slot home.

We believe Kempston should have been playing with 10 after their player spat at one of ours, but it was not seen by the referee.

The second half resumed after some commotion had ensued amongst the travelling sides’ players and staff at half time and it took just over 20 minutes for Oakley to get another goal, Hukin prodding home right-footed after a ball from Aulsberry was not dealt with. This should have seen the game wrapped up but some poor defensive moments allowed Kempston 2 goals that they did not really deserve (despite their post-match summaries). Thankfully, unlike in many previous occasions, we were able to see out the win and claim a vital 3 points.

It is early days but every result will count this season with several teams looking to be in with a shout for league honours. We will face Sharnbrook (A) and Stotfold Development (H) in our next two fixtures with both sides grabbing victories in their opening games also. Sharnbrook should have won the league on the final day last season but will feel better for taking a 2-0 victory against reigning champions Biggleswade FC Reserves, whilst preseason opponents Stotfold Development secured a 4-1 victory away at Marston, their striker grabbing a hat trick in the process.

Plenty of positives, 4 goals scored and some lessons to learn, but the prospect of more quality to come from players returning from absences means we look forward to our next outing.