Missed chances force Mile Oak to settle for a point
Mile Oak Football Club boss Ben Shoulders was left a little frustrated after his side took a point at Southern Combination League Division 1 leaders Saltdean United on Saturday.
Danny Curd’s effort in the first half was cancelled out by Matthew Geard’s effort soon after the restart as it ended all square at 1-1.
As well as Curd’s goal, both Benn brothers - Enzo and Joseph - hit the crossbar, with Shoulders feeling his side should have taken all three points.
Oak started the day fourth in the table, two places and three points below their table-topping opponents Saltdean, but they have played a game more. Looking back, boss Shoulders believes the gap should have been closed.
He said: “Anytime you take a point away from home against the league leaders it is good, but there was also some disappointment as I felt we should have won.
“I thought the boys played so well and kept Saltdean quiet for large periods. We had a chance to go two goals up but Enzo hit the bar from three yards, if that goes in it’s probably a different game.
Curd broke the deadlock with an effort that crept under Rikki Banks in Saltdean’s goal after 20 minutes. Oak should have had a second five minutes before the break but Enzo Benn could only guide a close-range header against the crossbar.
Saltdean hit back less than seven minutes after the restart with Geard volleying in at the back post.
Another Benn, this time Joseph, saw a late free-kick come back out off the crossbar as it finished all square.
After Saltdean were held, East Preston leapfrogged them into top spot.
With Oak taking a point and moving up to third, they are four points off the summit, having played two more games than EP. Shoulders feels it is East Preston's title to lose now but wants his side to continue to put the pressure on teams above them between now and the end of the season.
He added: “East Preston have got to slip-up for us to win the league and every game is a must-win for us now.
“We’ve done well since losing at EP last month, if we keep going as we are, I think we will be in with a good shout of finishing in the top three.”
Mile Oak welcome basement boys Ringmer in the league on Saturday.
MILE OAK: Stenning; Early, E.Benn, Pollard, Hall; J.Benn, Wedge-Bull, Austin-Slade; Gould, McKenzie, Curd. Subs: Coates (Gould), Symes (Curd), Arnold (Austin-Slade).
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