Shoulders scores first win as Mile Oak boss

Jamie McKenzie netted in Mile Oak's success on Saturday. Picture: Liz Pearce LP1600666
Jamie McKenzie netted in Mile Oak's success on Saturday. Picture: Liz Pearce LP1600666

Ben Shoulders was relieved to score his first win as Mile Oak Football Club manager on Saturday.

An own-goal and a Jamie McKenzie strike helped Oak to a 2-1 home triumph over local rivals Steyning Town.

Mile Oak boss Ben Shoulders scored his first win on Saturday. Picture: Liz Pearce LP1600668

Mile Oak boss Ben Shoulders scored his first win on Saturday. Picture: Liz Pearce LP1600668

With Shoulder’s side in total control, a lapse at the back allowed Lewis Levoi to pull one back for Town but Mile Oak held on for all three points.

The home side did score their first win of the season with victory at Oakwood last Tuesday but Shoulders was absent for that fixture and spoke of his delight at sealing a maiden win under his stewardship.

He said: “It was nice to get to get a first win under my belt.

“It’s really good to get back-to-back wins too and we want to try go on a little run now.

“I’m just happy we’ve managed to win Tuesday and Saturday after not getting anything the week before.

“It was nice to get a win over local rivals and a good team as well, who made it difficult for us.

“We made it a bit hard for ourselves letting in a silly goal at a time of the game when we were quite comfortable but we dug in and got the three points, which is the main thing.”

Oak were quick out of the blocks and had most of the early pressure.

Shoulders’ side were rewarded for their efforts and went ahead on 24 minutes.

After a ball was whipped in a Steyning defender put past his own goalkeeper.

Oak continued to dominate but failed to add to their one-goal lead before the interval.

With 12 minutes gone in the second, McKenzie fired home to double Oak’s advantage.

Shoulders’ side looked to be in cruise control but a nervy final 20 minutes awaited.

Levoi pulled one back for Town on 67 minutes and they pushed for a leveller.

Aaron Stenning produced a couple of vital saves late on to ensure Oak held on for all three points.

Steyning boss Gerry Murphy admitted they were beaten by the better side.

He said: “I had to change the team from the previous week and we didn’t start very well trying to get used a change of shape and personnel.

“We changed a few things around at the interval and were unlucky to go two goals behind.

“With 20 minutes to go we started playing a little bit better and after we scored I felt we finished the better.

“We couldn’t quite find the equaliser and, in fairness, they probably deserved the win.

“Yet again plenty of positives and hopefully we’ll get something out of our next two games.”

Mile Oak make the trip to Seaford Town on Saturday, before hosting AFC Varndeanians two days later.

Murphy’s side remain on the road with their 3G surface still unfinished. They travel to Ringmer on Saturday, then Billingshurst two days later for a bank holiday Monday encounter.

MILE OAK: A.Stenning; Early, Pollard, E.Benn, Austin-Slade, Khan, Garrod, J.Benn, J.Stenning, McKenzie, Arnold. Subs: Coates (J.Stenning), Fuller (Arnold), Wedge-Bull (Garrod).

STEYNING: Rose; Clark, Wadey, Dodd, Karim, Greer, Elms, Romaine, Knowles, Levoi, Milner.

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