Mile Oak enjoy first SCFL Shield win - but Seaford stay top
Seaford Town suffered their first defeat in the Supplementary Shield after they went down 1-0 to a stubborn Mile Oak side.
A solitary second half goal meant that Mile Oak achieved their first win of the group stage, with Seaford remaining at the top of the group despite their first loss of the tournament.
The first half saw few chances of significance, with both teams taking a while to settle into the game. Mile Oak looked the most threatening in the opening stages, with winger Zach Kieran finding himself in dangerous areas on several occasions yet unable to make anything of it.
With neither side in control of the game, both were eager to move the ball forward quickly but were equally let down by the quality of the final pass.
Seaford Town had defender Alex Saunders to thank on the half hour mark, as he was well-positioned to clear off the line after a dangerous ball in from out wide was not dealt with on the first attempt by the away side.
To make matters worse, captain Ben Dartnall had to be taken off prematurely for the visitors, forcing them into a change which clearly hindered their structure moving forward.
A shaky spell for Seaford approaching the half, as they seemed unable to properly clear their lines amidst a series of Mile Oak advances towards the opposition box. The score remained goalless at half time, with both sides looking for a response in the second half in order to get a result which would prove pivotal at both ends of the group.
Mile Oak came out the much brighter side in the second half, as they looked to put pressure on the Seaford defence who had shown glimpses of insecurity in the first 45 minutes. The home side were able to take the lead, after the ball was collected by midfielder Ane Sisimayi, who found the space to fire a low strike just out of reach for Jack Webb in the visiting goal. It was a blow for a Seaford side who had struggled to turn any possession into substantial chances at the other end.
Seaford began to commit more bodies going forward in the hope of getting back into the game, yet they were let down by their end product which had been missing for the large majority of the match.
The visitors’ best chance at an equaliser came when forward Reece Edwards managed to bundle his way through the Mile Oak defence, only for his close range effort to be denied by Mile Oak ‘keeper Aaron Stenning.
Having missed their best opportunity to get back in the game, Seaford attempts to find a way back into the game proved unsuccessful against a Mile Oak side who had looked comfortable in defending their lead. Second-half introduction Billy Pout came close to providing an equaliser for Seaford in the final stages, with a long range effort from a free kick needing to be tipped over the bar with 5 minutes of normal time to play.
Mile Oak would go on to hold out for the win in the end, with Seaford suffering their first defeat in the Supplementary Shield. Seaford manager Paul Wise admitted his side were ‘not good enough on the day’, yet had every hope they could bounce back in their next game against AFC Varndeanians at the weekend.