Oak progress after a ten-goal thriller

Jamie Watts scored twice for Mile Oak at Midhurst
Jamie Watts scored twice for Mile Oak at Midhurst
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MILE OAK Football Club progressed into the quarter-finals of the County League Division 2 Cup after a ten-goal thriller at Midhurst on Saturday.

Oak led 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2 but the hosts fought back to force extra-time, before Oak struck twice in the extra period to win 6-4 and set up a trip to Seaford in the next round.

Mile Oak went ahead on 15 minutes when Jamie Watts got through one-on-one and slotted the ball home.

He doubled the visitors’ lead on 35 minutes, before Oak had several chances to extend their lead as Watts, Danny Curd, Stuart Garrod and Nick Lansdale all went close.

Midhurst got a goal back on 40 minutes in controversial fashion. Oak felt a Midhurst player pushed Dave Marsh into keeper Aaron Stenning, who fell into the goal with the ball from James Turner’s effort. However, after the referee consulted with his assistant, a goal was awarded.

Oak quickly restored their two-goal lead, however, as Lansdale headed home from a Watts corner before the break.

The hosts made it 3-2 when Luke Sheldrick netted three minutes into the second half but Chris Paine scored from the penalty spot to make it 4-2 on 57 minutes after a shot from Curd was handled.

Midhurst pulled a goal back when Paine was adjudged to have handled the ball on 70 minutes and Lawrence Hyde scored the resulting penalty.

Turner’s second of the game on 82 minutes sent the game to extra-time but Oak soon had the upper hand again. Curd headed home a cross from Paine to make it 5-4 on 99 minutes and Adam Dine sealed the win with two minutes to go.

Oak boss Anthony Whittington said: “We kept getting in front but Midhurst kept coming back and never gave up. In the end, I felt we deserved to win but it was a hard-fought game and both teams gave everything.

“I was really pleased that when it went to 4-4 and they had all the momentum that we came back really well to win the game. There were loads of chances for both teams and, instead of 6-4, it could have easily been 12-8. It was a proper end-to-end game.”

MILE OAK: Stenning; MacDonald, Lansdale, Paine, Marsh; Pulling, French, Garrod, Howard; Curd, Watts. Subs: Turley-George (MacDonald 65), Dine (Pulling 70), Brown (French 85).