Benn strikes late to boost Oak's top three hopes

Joseph Benn bagged a brace in Mile Oak's fightback win on Saturday. Picture by Stephen Goodger
Joseph Benn bagged a brace in Mile Oak's fightback win on Saturday. Picture by Stephen Goodger

Joseph Benn struck a minute from time to boost Mile Oak Football Club’s Southern Combination League Division 1 promotion hopes on Saturday.

Oak came from two goals down to edge a five-goal thriller with basement boys Rigmer thanks to Joseph Benn’s brace and Remi Coates’ strike.

Third-placed Mile Oak’s 3-2 win helped them close the gap on former league leaders East Preston, in second, to a point after they were beaten at Little Common, though, they have played two games more.

Saltdean United, who went back to the top following their victory over Bexhill United, now have a three point cushion over Ben Shoulders’ side having played a game less.

Place-below Little Common scored a great win over East Preston to close the gap on place-above Oak to just a point with two games in hand on them.

Following the fightback win, Oak boss Shoulders was full of praise for his side and said: “It was a massive win for us. We played poorly and let in two early goals, so it was nice to fightback and get the win heading into a massive game on Saturday.

“The top is very tight at the minute, I’ve said all along, we just need to win our remaining matches and I feel we should be in that top three, which is what I’m aiming for right now.

“Every game is like a cup final and we’ve got some massive games to come this month.”

Oak got off to a disastrous start, conceding twice in the opening ten minutes. Benjamin Palmer netted after five minutes, then Chris Greer struck three minutes later to give bottom-side Ringmer a shock two-goal lead.

Benn then fired low into the bottom corner right on the stroke of half-time to give Oak hope.

Danny Curd’s dangerous ball was then slotted home by Coates ten minutes after the restart to get Mile Oak back level.

A remarkable turnaround was then complete, as Damon Pollard’s knockdown was crashed home by Benn a minute from time to ensure Oak edged it.

MILE OAK: A.Stenning; Early, Gillingham, Pollard, Hall; J.Benn, Symes, Wedge-Bull; Coates, McKenzie, Curd. Subs: Gould (McKenzie), Austin-Slade (Gillingham), J.Stenning (Coates).

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