Adderbury Park 1 Oakley 3
Saturday, 21 September 2013
APFC: Junior Howards
Oakley: Kieron Schmidt, Adam Beckett and Jordan Jenkins
Adderbury Park welcomed high fliers Oakley Utd to the Lucy Plackett Playing field for the battle of the 100% records.
Oakley had beaten AP comfortably in the cup in the previous season, but this is a new look AP with a new feel about them and the home side certainly let their visitors know there would be no repeat of such a score-line today. Whilst Oakley looked to the pitch for excuses, the home side got about the visiting team and failed to let them settle as soon as they got in the AP half. AP kept the ball well making Oakley chase for long periods in the half, often causing frustration with a couple of heavy tackles flying in.
But for all of AP’s domination and possession, they failed to carve open any real clear opportunities, with their final ball letting them down a little. A lot of what-ifs and maybes seemingly the common denominator.
Oakley had been restricted to a couple of long range pots shots and when they did get in behind their final ball also let them down, as they also failed to register any shots on target or create any meaningful opportunities.
The big man up top Beckett was holding the ball up well for Oakley and caused Dave Addison and James Gibbard a few problems, but he failed to have the support of his team mates around him when the ball stuck to him up top.
AP then thought they had the lead, Junior Howards beat the Oakley keeper to a through ball and after being squeezed wide Howards fired towards goal and the ball looked to be well over the line before a clearance was made. But the linesman was ‘not allowed’ to make that decision and no goal was given.
Then against the run of play and as so often the case in football, the team at the top got the break. Oakley broke on AP and with a harmless shot, seemingly covered by the keeper taking a deflection it meant a serious save was required from young Jordan Collison in goal for AP. He could only parry the ball and with all good sides, Oakley were the quickest to react and Kieron Schmidt pounced to fire home the rebound.
But AP responded within minutes, top goalscorer Junior Howards ran onto Mark Essex’s header and from fully 30 yards hit a dipping, swerving volley into the top corner of the net. A truly fantastic strike from Howards.
This sparked AP into life and the half finished with sustained pressure from the home side and Oakley struggling to get out of their half. AP went close when a terrific run and shot from Howards led to the Oakley keeper having to beat away his shot and then Gavin Connor failed to get his shot away when well placed. The visiting keeper then turned over an Essex header and from the following corner Gibbard arrived unmarked at the far post, but his header only found the side netting when he really should have at least hit the target.
AP didn’t want the half-time whistle to come, but it did before they could make any more impact on the scoreline.
Half-Time- APFC 1-1 Oakley
Oakley came out in determined fashion, knowing they had been let off the hook at the end of the half and a change of formation breathed new life into their game.
They dominated proceedings and enjoyed plenty of possession at the beginning of the half, with AP struggling to get themselves on the ball. However a great chance fell to Dan Smith as AP struck on the break, the ball broke down the left and after a poor punch the ball fell to Smith inside the box with the goal at his mercy. Unfortunately Smith failed to get a clean connection and he sliced the ball horribly wide.
Then came the big game changing moment. As Oakley broke down the left the cross was met by Ben Gray who side-footed home, only to be judged narrowly off-side. The attacker making his run a fraction too early. Oakley and Gray clearly frustrated at the decision then launched a rather unsavory verbal attack on both the AP Lino and the referee. With several players being warned and the coach on the sideline also receiving a telling off, Gray continued his tirade and was shown a straight red card for dissent.
This fired up Oakley and they then looked like the side with 11 and AP with 10 as they completely dominated the game, pinning AP in their own half and the home side struggled to impose themselves on the game.
Oakley then took the lead, Jordan Collison failed to hold a strike from an Oakley player and Adam Beckett followed up to slot home the rebound.
Before long it was 3-1, with a goal out of nothing. Jordan Jenkins picked up the ball and strode forwards, then from fully 35 yards unleashed a rocket of a shot that flew through the players and into the bottom corner of the net leaving Collison with no chance. The joy at the killer 3rd goal from Oakley was plain to see.
AP huffed and puffed to get themselves back in the game and Oakley threatened on the break without looking like scoring. Junior Howards should’ve got a shot away when well positioned in the box but he allowed the defender to recover with a great tackle to deny him.
The game ended 3-1 and the visitors showed a clinical edge that shows why they are where they are in the league and with it brought to an end AP’s winning start to the season. AP in the 1st half gave Oakley a big fright and gave them more of a game than I think they expected. However Oakley will take some stopping this season with some really strong players at their disposal.
AP however will look back on a 1st half performance that deserved more than it got and also be disappointed with their second half showing. But there’s a lot to take from the game for a side who has only just come together and are still learning all the time.
Full-time – Adderbury Park 1-3 Oakley Utd