Sam Cane wondergoal seals Crawley Down Gatwick victory over Oakwood in derby battle

Oakwood V Crawley Down Gatwick (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-151025-195130008
Oakwood V Crawley Down Gatwick (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-151025-195130008

A brilliant diving header by Sam Cane in the dying minutes sealed Crawley Down a 3-2 victory in their top of the table clash with Oakwood.

The result lifted the Anvils to the top of the Southern Combination League Division One.

Oakwood V Crawley Down Gatwick (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-151025-195037008

Oakwood V Crawley Down Gatwick (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-151025-195037008

The local derby game was played out on a superb playoing surface at Tinsley Lane which was a credit to their groundsman.

Oakwood took the lead after just five minutes when Aiden Cawte took advantage of slack defending to open the scoring on the rebound after Anvil keeper Andy Greaves sprawling to push away his effort for the first corner.

Parity was restored five minutes later when a long ball down the middle found Oli Leslie tussling with an Oak defender for the ball, with Leslie finally outpacing his marker to guide the ball home.

Crawley Down took the lead on 44 minutes when Leslie on the left sent in a cross that found Houlders on the right who volleyed home to put the Anvils in front as the half ended.

But not without a nervy last minute when the last Oak attack produced about half a dozen shots that were somehow repelled by legs, bodies and a fair bit of good fortune as the whistle blew.

For the second half Brown who had suffered a foot injury was replaced by Sonny Barton, as Oakwood raised the tempo, as the Anvils backline were forced to battle against a more determined outfit.

Blair Cooney was outstanding with his lung-bursting runs and his tigerish tackling, one instance comes to mind with him chasing after four different players before he finally got the ball, and that just about sums up the Anvils’ attitude these days,

They just never give up. Back to the action and for a while the game seemed to go a bit flat.

Ten minutes into the second half a combination of Leslie and Houlder set up Tom Agate to fire wide, just after Agate was replaced by Josh Alcock, and on 75 Leslie was replaced by the silky skills of Ben Brooker.

But on 80 minutes the Anvils were to be rocked yet again when from yet another Oak corner striker Rob McNab found space to slot past Greaves and yet again restore parity between the sides 2-2.

But the excitement was not yet over as with minutes left on the clock Brooker out left swung in a cross into the box which was met by a flying Cane coming from the right to nod home just inside the post to give game, set and match to the Anvils.

Oakwood: Milborrow, Adsett, Manville, Maxwell, T.Gilbert, (Nourse 70), Maxwell, Piller, A.Cawte (Wanstall 75), Faber, McNab, Williams. Unused subs: Bevan, Doyle, C.Cawte

Crawley Down Gatwick: Greaves, Cooney, Lowe, Agate (Alcock), Dixon, Day, Houlders, Spence, Leslie (Brooker), Cane, Brown (Barton).

Man of the Match:

Sam Cane