OAKLEY RUN RIOT IN TEN MINUTE SPELL
By The Acorn
Oakley produced a devastating spell in the second half to run out worthy winners with another win on the road.
An early back heel from Luke Mayhew was blocked by keeper Down alert to this attack and was soon in the action again when a through ball by Harry Mann found Greg Rodger on the right leave Walcott stranded on the right but his heavy touch allowed Down to close down the danger. Oakley pursuing attacking Walcott isolated him for the early part of the first half but never really punished him and Braintree. Braintree actually had the first real chance on the quarter hour when a long range shot by Koojo had Dan Joyce in the Oakley goal punch away clear of the goal. Rodger was substituted shortly afterwards after picking up a thigh injury and was replaced by Stephen Polley. A heavy touch by Walcott allowed an opportunity for Josh Merritt but his shot went well wide. Down was the busier keeper of the two and Mann pushed him into a save at full stretch and when Down was beaten, Mann rounded him but saw Donald head clear. A great turn by forward Gipson was equalled by a great tackle from Brad James in return. Another good move saw Polley lay back for Perry Harman to cross dangerously into the area for Mann to head straight at Down. A mazy run from Merritt who looked as if he had the ball on a piece of elastic took on 6 players working his way across the area and laid off for Polley to pull his effort wide. In injury time of the first half, Oakley in guilty of not taking their chances fell behind when a bad knock by Harman gifted Gipson the ball and worked an opening crossing across the six yard area for Akande to stroke home an unlikely lead.
But the second half saw Oakley punish the home side in a devastating ten minute spell that rocked the home side. Before the goal rush, Wray kept out a Mann effort and from a Mayhew free kick, Lewis Wood rose but glanced off target. Ten minutes into the second half, James and Wood combined and Wood glanced into the run of Mann who slid the ball past the advancing Down. A minute later, Oakley took the lead when Braintree switched off and Mann pounced on this squared into the area to Polley who laid off for Mayhew to strike home. From the kick off, it took seconds for the third goal when again the home side still in shock saw Harman`s through ball into Mann stretch Oakley`s lead smashing the ball into the roof of the net. Number four was on the horizon and when the ball broke, again the home side caught out, Harman fed the ball into the feet of Polley who rounded Down with ease to tap into an empty net. With Braintree pressing, Wood at the heart of the Oakley defence made a good block to deny Igiesias. Oakley attacking saw Mayhew and Ollie Wright miss chances to add to the scoreline and at the other end, Harman cleared off the line when it looked easier for Braintree to add a second. With time petering away for the home side, Akande was fouled on the edge of the area but a poorly taken free kick by Jones sailed over the crossbar to end a fantastic second half performance from Oakley.