JC MSFL Div 1: Brixton Old Boys 1 Oakwood EDRS 3
An Oakwood side in second gear was too strong for Brixton on a wet and wintery Sunday in North London.
Starting brightly on a beautiful but small pitch, the Oaks knocked the ball around imperiously at times with Adam Levine magnificent throughout and Daniel Abrams back to his lively, intuitive best.
Showing all the confidence of a side who had just ended South Manx's unbeaten run, Oakwood carved Brixton open twice before Robert Bloch reacted brilliantly to an Anthony Kintish through ball only to be flattened by the desperate Brixton keeper in the process. Lucky to stay on the pitch, the keeper could only stand and watch as Levine smashed the resulting penalty against the crossbar and blaze over from the resulting melee.
The miss only served to motivate Oakwood further and with Brixton playing so defensively, centre halves Bloch and Berke were allowed time on the ball to continually bring Daniel Geey and wide players Davidson and Abrams into the game.
It seemed only a matter of time before the goal came but Oakwood contrived to miss a whole host of chances. One break saw Davidson scamper down the right in determined manner before squaring the ball for Robert Bloch who saw his goal-bound effort blocked by the overworked Brixton keeper.
As the half wore on, Oakwood's passing deserted them and Brixton sought to make the game more physical. Always dangerous from long throws and corners, they almost took a shock lead - Daniel Abrams coming to the Oaks rescue with a headed goalline clearance.
With the game scoreless at half time Oakwood remained patient knowing that they had more than enough to go on and win the game.
And when Rob Davidson's clearance fell to Kintish on the edge of the box, it looked like it would be plain sailing from there on in. Kintish's finish into the bottom corner was as cool as we've come to expect from the Oakwood marksman, taking his tally for the season to five.
But though Oakwood continued to fashion more chances, the game lost some of its lustre and Brixton proved one nil is never enough. The Oaks failed to prevent the cross and then made the criminal error of going to sleep, allowing the ball to drift into the net. A fluke - but a wake up call for Oakwood.
Again, Oakwood refused to panic with Dan Ash entering the fray to stirring effect. Terrorising his full back he burst into the channel before being knocked illegally off the ball. It looked a penalty but referee Gary Silver pointed to the edge of the box and awarded a free kick. Justice was done when Daniel Abrams dangerous free kick fell to Gary Bloch in the six-yard box. His finish was unerring and left Brixton with no chance.
Though Brixton had already taken Oakwood by surprise, there was little chance of it happening again - especially with messrs Bloch and Berke at their commanding best.
In truth, it was no surprise when Oakwood scored again - this time Levine making amends for his earlier miss. Ash did brilliantly to stay on his feet and evade two challenges before whipping a dangerous ball to the near post. Levine pounced courageously to score the goal his man-of-the-match performance merited.
Brixton will have the chance to exact revenge at Parmiters in a few weeks time and, with several returning players, will be relishing the challenge. Up next for Oakwood a CA cup tie against up-and-coming Woodford.