The belief is back, says Sidle
Sporting JLGB 1-0 Oakhill Lions
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Ryan Sidle, assistant-manager of Sporting JLGB, believes that the team has overcome the fear factor after climbing to sixth in the Joan Collins Premier Division following a hard fought win over Oakhill Lions.
A goal from Sam Goodman earned JLGB their fourth consecutive victory in the league's only game to beat the weather.
Sidle, standing in for manager Gavin Sharpe, said: "We are on a good run with four consecutive wins against sides we would consider tough games. Now we're in a position where we go into games believing that we can win."
It was second from bottom Oakhill who started the game brighter, dominating proceedings in the first 20 minutes. They controlled the game in midfield but found it difficult to create clear-cut chances. Oakhill were left to rue their luck as Joni Kleinman was ruled offside when he ran through to score early on.
The visitors were continually frustrated by the offside flag as they looked to prise open the Sporting defence.
Having dominated in terms of possession, Oakhill found themselves behind on midway through the half when Rafi Bloom's corner flew across the area for the sliding Goodman to stick out a leg and poke the ball home.
A goal to the good, Sporting grew in confidence and started to take control as the game approached half time with Jared Cohen particularly impressive.
Oakhill struggled to regain their rhythm on a difficult pitch and were unable to play their usual expansive football. When they did get into the final third, they would often come up against defenders Aaron Englander and Blake Englander who were commanding for the hosts.
Danny Jacobs spurned two golden opportunities to extend the lead. First he blasted over from close range following a one-two. Then he headed straight at the keeper from a Jonny Davis cross.
Sporting had another great chance to score when Adam Schwinger pounced on a loose ball in Oakhill's penalty area, only to see his attempt to hook the ball home pushed away for a corner.
In the end, Sporting ran out worthy winners, much to the relief of Sidle, who looked forward to the second half of the season.
"We are in the last 16 of the Peter Morrison Trophy, and we would love to get to a cup final. We have put ourselves in a good position, so we are looking to go as far as possible in the cups."
Jonathan Ison, Oakhill's joint player-manager, was disappointed with the result but was optimistic that his team would improve in the new year.
"So far this season has not reflected Oakhill as a squad. We are a much better team than our current league position shows. I am hoping for a strong second half to the season as we managed last year, hopefully finishing the season with a cup win at Boundary Park and achieving a respectable league position."