Mile Oak Football Club kept the pressure on the top three in Southern Combination League Division 1 with a 4-1 victory against Oakwood on Saturday.
Oak remain fourth in the table, behind Little Common only on goal difference, ahead of a trip to leaders Saltdean –who they trail by three points – this Saturday.
Oakwood took the lead through Jordan Mase’s close-range header on 14 minutes but Oak levelled just six minutes later when Michael Gould curled a right-footed shot into the bottom corner.
Chances then came and went at both ends in the remainder of the first half. Oakwood hit the bar from a free kick and a shot was fired wide with the goal gaping after a save by Oak keeper Aaron Stenning, while Gould and Jamie McKenzie both went close for the hosts.
Oak made a bright start to the second half as Gould headed over and Joe Benn struck a post, before they took the lead on 52 minutes through Joe Benn.
Oakwood hit a post shortly afterwards, before Gould’s second, after Benn flicked on Liam Austin-Slade’s cross, gave Mile Oak a 3-1 advantage after 56 minutes.
Mile Oak got a fourth with time running out when Gould crossed for Benn to score with a fantastic diving header.
Mile Oak manager Ben Shoulders said: “It was an okay performance. Oakwood came out flying at us in the first half and I don’t think we expected that.
“They could have had a couple of goals but once we rode the storm I always felt confident we would win.
“We came out for the second half and it was all us, we played much better and just put our chances away which was good to see.”
Looking ahead to Saturday’s game at Saltdean, Shoulders said: “I see every game as must-win at this time of the season if we want to stay in the hunt.
“It’s a massive game and I know they will want to beat us after we beat them last time but we go there in good form and hopefully will do what we know we can do.”
With the top of the table so tightly congested, has Shoulders thought about targeting the title? “The title is always at the back of your mind but I think we would need other results to go our way for that to happen. But we are focused on getting in the top three.”
MILE OAK: A.Stenning; Early, Gillingham, E.Benn, Pollard, Symes, Austin-Slade, Wedge-Bull, J.Benn, McKenzie, Gould. Subs: Coates, Harley, J.Stenning.
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