MILE OAK Football Club produced an outstanding team performance to take the derby-day honours with victory at home to Southwick on Monday.
It was a third successive league win for Oak and they gained revenge for a 2-0 defeat away to Wickers at the beginning of the season.
The game started with a bang as four players were booked in a lively opening 15 minutes. Wickers’ Richard Hudson and Tom Shelley were both yellow-carded for fouls, while Oak’s George Rudwick – against his former side – was booked for dissent, before team-mate Jack Arnold also found himself in referee Colin Mallows’ notebook for a foul.
Inbetween the bookings, Oak’s Adam Dine curled an effort wide of the far post and Wickers keeper Kieran Gillard produced an outstanding save to keep out Dan Harley’s shot from eight yards, while Tom Donnelly was denied by Oak stopper Aaron Stenning after a driving run at the other end.
Oak went ahead on 20 minutes when Dine won possession off Wickers’ Ross Myers, played Arnold through and he rifled the ball past Gillard from 14 yards.
Southwick’s Richard Hudson had a free kick comfortably saved by Stenning, before Oak went close to doubling their lead. Arnold fed Dine, whose low shot was kept out by Gillard’s legs, before Karl Gillingham headed the resulting corner wide.
Wickers’ Shelley then received his final warning for a foul and Southwick quickly replaced him to avoid the risk of going down to ten men on 35 minutes.
Within four minutes the visitors were level as Andy McDowell held off the challenge of Joe Whiting, before turning and firing into the roof of the net from the edge of the penalty area.
Southwick started the second half brightly as Hudson fired across goal, McDowell had a shot comfortably saved and Donnelly’s close-range header was blocked by Damon Pollard.
However, it was Oak who went back ahead on the hour and they never looked back from that point. Arnold played Michael Gould through and he slipped just as he was about to shoot but the ball broke for Arnold to drill under Gillard from 18 yards.
Oak completely dominated in midfield for the final half-an-hour and went 3-1 ahead on 67 minutes. Whiting was dragged to the floor from Arnold’s free kick and Rudwick sent Gillard the wrong way from the resulting penalty.
The hosts added a fourth 16 minutes from time when substitute Danny Curd, who had been on the pitch less than a minute, fired into the top corner from 15 yards after Rudwick found him.
Curd then headed wide at the front post shortly afterwards as Oak eased to all three points.
Mile Oak travel to Lingfield on Saturday, while Wickers entertain Seaford.
MILE OAK: Stenning; Clarke, Pollard, Whiting, Gillingham; Harley, Gould, Garrod, Dine; Rudwick; Arnold. Subs: Hall (Clarke 66), Curd (Arnold 74), Lansdale (Rudwick 78), Skinner, Pullinger.
SOUTHWICK: Gillard; C.McClymont, Stideford, W.McClymont, McLellan; Newman, Hudson, Shelley, Myers, Donnelly; McDowell. Subs: Lipscombe (McLellan 27), Watts (Shelley 35), Davis (Stideford 66), Tucker, Neal.
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