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Match Report : Oakley v Whitletts


Paul Cameron scored the only goal of the game as Whitletts Victoria produced another impressive pre-season performance on the road in their defeat of Oakley United at Blairwood Park.

The former Hurlford United skipper struck with just 11 minutes remaining to give Vics’ a win that their overall display merited against a very strong and powerful Oakley side who will be looking to bounce back to the East Region Premier Division this coming season.

Playing some attractive passing football, Whitletts dominated the early proceedings and Louis Kerr went close to giving the visitors an early lead when he latched onto Niall Kennedy’s pass but his shot from 15 yards flew over the bar. Jordan Mullen then just failed to connect to a Chris Black free kick at the back post and then the big defender saw his rive from 20 yards slip just wide of the target.

Frustration grew in the home side and a couple of players went into the referee’s book for some late challenges as Vics’ controlled the middle of the park but came up against some resolute defending from the home side.

Kennedy tested the home keeper with a shot from 25 yards and it took Oakley until the 37th minute to create their first real opening of the game with a shot from just inside the area that was deflected wide for a corner kick. Just before the interval Louis Kerr went close for Whitletts with a header from a Graham Longair cross as the sides went in level at the break.

Manager Neil Duffy rang the changes at half time bringing on Ally McInnes, Tony Balfour and Josh Sloan who was making his debut following his signing from Girvan.

The second half continued in a similar fashion to the first with Whitletts having the better of the possession but struggling to break down a solid Oakley defence and they nearly paid the penalty when McInnes made a superb save at full stretch to turn aside a thunderous drive from 20 yards. But still it was Whitletts who were doing most of the pressing and they almost took the lead but Cameron couldn’t get enough on the ball at the back post to direct a Balfour free kick on target.

Vics almost took the lead in bizarre circumstances with 15 minutes remaining when an attempted clearance from inside the six yard box cannoned off Kennedy before being scrambled to safety but the breakthrough did finally come in the 79th minute when Cameron latched onto a through ball and raced past two defenders before firing low past the keeper.

It was no more than the visitors deserved and they came close to doubling their advantage when Sloan at full stretch got on the end of a Balfour free kick but his effort slipped narrowly wide. Another encouraging performance from Whitletts who now play host to Port Glasgow on Saturday in a fundraising game for the Tilly Sharkey appeal.

Whitletts Victoria
1. Dorigo (McInnes HT) 2. Mathieson (Anderson 56) 3. Campbell 4. Mullen 5. Longair (Buchanan 56) 6. Boyd 7. Kennedy 8. Black 9. Cameron 10. L. Kerr (Sloan HT) 11. K. Kerr (Balfour HT)