Barnston please manager Wilkinson despite defeat

Barnston AFC's Abraham Osinoiki shields the ball from Little Oakley

Barnston AFC's Abraham Osinoiki shields the ball from Little Oakley - Credit: Archant

Barnston AFC manager Glen Wilkinson was still a happy man despite his side’s 2-0 defeat to Little Oakley.

Connor Molloy in possession for Barnston AFC

Connor Molloy in possession for Barnston AFC - Credit: Archant

Saturday’s visitors to High Easter Road had won all of their previous six Essex and Suffolk Border league Premier Division matches.

Their previous outing saw them thump Ipswich Wanderers Reserves 18-0 and they have already had two 9-0 successes as well.

They were always going to be tough opposition but it took goals in the first and last minutes to put away a spirited home side.

And Wilkinson was pleased with Barnston’s performance.

He said: “I am really pleased with my team’s performance as Oakley are a very strong side and if their current performances continue, they will be strong contenders for the league this season.

“We have played really well and to be honest I don’t think we deserved to lose. Additionally, we have kept a clean sheet against a side for 90 minutes of the match.

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“If it were not for the lack of concentration in the first and last minute of the game the score would have been completely different.”

Oakley took the lead with less than a minute on the clock.

A corner was swung in to the back post where Oakley’s skipper guided a header between Connor Pinch and the post.

Any worry that Barnston would crumble after such an early setback soon vanished as they roared into life.

Oakley’s keeper had to make a smart save to tip a corner over the bar as Barnston started knocking on the door.

Barnston’s battling performance was frustrating the visitors and even when they did get a shot away, goalkeeper Eddie Coomber was equal to it.

Skipper Connor Molloy was an inspiration in the second half as Barnston kicked up the hill into a strong wind.

He continued to boss the midfield along with Harry Duhig and new signing Tony Hubble.

The home side kept the visitors pinned back and pressed for an equaliser.

Chris Hill came close when substitute Abraham Osinoiki broke through the defence but the shot was placed just wide.

An effort from Duhig skimmed across the face of goal and a frustrated Callum Hubble saw his drive go inches wide.

But with seconds remaining, and Barnston desperately looking for the breakthrough, a long ball forward allowed Oakley to wrap the game up.

Barnston travel to Brantham Athletic Reserves on Saturday.