AFC Oakley Football Club

AFC Oakley First v Riseley Sports Match Report

Oakley came into this game on form, having won their past 4 outings, the most recent a 4-3 midweek win against Shefford Town & Campton Reserves. We had also faced Riseley twice earlier in the season, putting 14 goals past them in two weeks, but knew our opponents would be up for the match as they sought consolation for a disappointing season of their own.
We set out with a strong outfield, but with Oakley stalwart Robbie Alder between the sticks, deputising for Hamilton. A back line of Cox, Ives, Gray and Butler meant we expected to be solid defensively with the ability to control possession from the back. McLean and Cammarano would provide extra cover in front of the backline, and an attacking four of Bankole, Mensah, McDonagh and Amadi looked to put pressure on the visitors and keep us in control high up the pitch.
We got off to a great start within 3 minutes as Amadi dragged his man out of position and allowed Bankole to get in behind, who was then able to finish at the near post to out us 1-0 ahead. However, a lack of communication and a defensive mix up saw Riseley’s lively winger run onto a hopeful ball through the middle and lift it over Alder who was caught a little in no man’s land? Though the ball should have been cut out before it bounced through. 1-1.
Amadi continued to be a threat for the Riseley centre halves and got his customary goal when finishing well from inside the box for 2-1. Ali Smith came into the front line to replace the injured Mensah, who just before had done brilliantly to track back and quash Riseley’s counter attack.
We were well in control at the break, but a few words were needed to keep everything calm and focused as we prepared for the second 45. Cook came in for Cammarano to freshen up the midfield legs and Oakley continued to dominate. We were awarded a free kick just outside the box to the left hand side, and Joel Ives stepped up to place it in the bottom corner for 3-1. Just as changes were being prepared, Gray then fouled for a second yellow having been cautioned just before the break, and was duly sent off. At 3-1 ahead, we didn’t need to chase the game, so Sam Patridge was introduced to slot in next to Ives, with Bankole withdrawn. McDonagh, as always, won us a penalty and this week Ives was able to return to form as he slotted it past the keeper for 4-1. Bankole was then reintroduced and finished off a good team moves for his second and our fifth. 5 goals and 5 wins on the bounce for Oakley as we look to finish the season strong. We face Flitwick next Saturday in an earlier KO, where we seek to do better than our last outing against them which was a 3-2 defeat with a very understrength squad. Our visitors always provide a difficult challenge though, with 4 wins in their last 5 games. As we edge closer to the end of the season, we now find ourselves in a much better position in the league, and will do what we can to chase down 3rd.