Saturday 9th September 2017
Bostik League North
Kick off: 3pm
Venue: Mayesbrook Park
' Jay Knight 18'
Theo Ola 23'
Dan Gilchrist 56'
Jay Knight 67'
Kreshnic Krasniqi (C) 75'
Alan Taylor 70'
Ernest Okoh 70'
Goldy Capela 67'
Darius Izukanne 75'
Grays Athletic 1
Barking secure first victory back in Bostik
A 3-1 victory at Mayesbrook Park against Grays Athletic gave Barking their first three points back in the Isthmian League despite going a goal down early on. Jay Knight equalised before Theo Ola put the Blues in the lead shortly afterwards. A second half goal from Dan Gilchrist guaranteed all three points for the Blues as they look to kick star their season.
Alan Taylor and Jay Knight forced early saves from Lamar Johnson but it was Grays who took the lead after five minutes as Johnson launched a counter with a pin point drop kick to Suleyman Zudhu on the left wing who cut in from the left wing and his shot seemed to be heading to Ollie Bowles but it took a wicked deflection off Toib Adeyemi which left Bowles wrong-footed and helpless as the ball bobbled into the net. Barking had their first chance to equalise ten minutes later from a counterattack as Gilchrist found Knight but he prodded the ball wide. Knight made amends three minutes later however, Kreshnic Krasniqi volleyed through ball split the Grays defence with Jay Knight through on goal before powering the ball low across Johnson into the bottom left corner of the net. Barking had a second five minutes later with Knight involved again – this time he was fouled on the edge of the box as he attempted to hold the ball up. Theo Ola stepped up and lifted the ball over the wall and past the dive of Johnson and into the net. There was a nearly a third as Gilchrist cut the ball back to Billy Jones after 32 minutes but his effort was just wide. Knight nearly had his second after 35 minutes as Johnson failed to deal with a long throw by Krasniqi but Knight couldn’t keep his header down. Grays had a free kick late on in the first half but the chance was headed over.
Grays had an early chance after a minute as a cross evaded everyone until it reached the far post forcing Bowles into a save at the near post. Zudhu again went close after 50 minutes after powering past Barking players but his shot flashed across goal and went wide. Ola shot over after 53 minutes but he was involved three minutes as the Blues doubled their lead – his mazy run from the centre circle gave Dan Gilchrist space in the box who he threaded the ball to with Gilchrist calmly slotting the ball home to give Barking a 3-1 lead. Barking restricted Grays to little until the 72nd minute, Johnson saved after good work from sub Ernest Okoh leading to a counter-attack, a far post cross from the right wing finding a Grays striker but his volley smacked the neat post. Krasniqi was perhaps lucky to stay on the pitch in this period of play – he was already booked when his late attempt to block the cross led to him fouling the crosser. Luckily for him the ref gave him the benefit of the doubt but Justin Gardner had seen enough and sent on Darius Izukanne for his debut in his place. The Blues had a penalty shout after 77 minutes as Okoh found himself through on goal and was seemingly fouled by Jack Fowler as he tracked back but the decision was not forthcoming. Bowles was forced into a good save moments later after Billy Jones lost the ball in midfield.
There was time for two more Grays chances as they attempted to mount a comeback, firstly a scuffed volley in the box and they did have the ball in the net in stoppage time but the play was correctly bought back for offside. Barking will hope to take the momentum of this victory into Tuesday’s tricky trip to Ware.
Report source: Trevor Gilbert/Barking FC
Please note that the opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to Barking Football Club.