Saturday 4th February 2017
Essex Senior League
Kick off: 3pm
Venue: Lower Road
Current Form: W W W L W D
Joe Pearman 12'
Petrit Elbi 70'
Steve Willis (C)
Hullbridge Sports 1
BARKING KEPT AT BAY BY HULLBRIDGE
Barking attempted to get back to winning ways but were held in part by their own profligacy at Hullbridge as they played out a 2-2 draw. Joe Pearman scored the opener before Hullbridge equalised just before the break and then took the lead in the second half. Petrit Elbi levelled the score with 20 minutes remaining but neither side could force a winner.
Barking hit the post after five minutes as Joe Pearman’s free kick was flicked on by Ben Higgs where it met the head of Paul Oshin who headed across goal but smacked against the post. Hullbridge’s first chance then went over the bar before Pearman latched onto a poor back pass – he was tackled with the ball going wide of goal, Pearman stretched to get an effort at goal from a narrow angle but Emery in the Hullbridge goal was equal to it and palmed it away. Barking’s pressure told after 12 minutes as a clearance fell to Brad Ling who rushed forward with the ball – he nearly lost the ball but blocked the clearance with the ball falling to Joe Pearman who had space and time to shoot low and hard across Emery into the bottom right corner of the net. Barking continued to push forward and nearly had a second at the halfway mark as Paul Oshin’s cross was met by Pearman whose shot was blocked and the ball nearly fell to Elbi but he couldn’t get the ball under control. Two minutes later and Barking went very close again as a cross from Pearman was met by Peagram at the near post but his volley smacked against the post. Hullbridge were looking dangerous at the other end however – as a cross from the left wing to the far post was headed over the bar from close range. Barking had few more half chances before time as Steve Willis saw his well hit volley saved by Emery before Elbi’s toepoke was too close to Emery. Barking were punished for not doubling their lead just before the half time whistle as a cross from the right wing was blocked by Ricky Tarbard but the ball continued across goal to Luca Frankis who powered the ball past Hatton who didn’t have the time to get back in position.
Hullbridge continued being dangerous and they took the lead after 55 minutes from a counterattack led Charlie Cox being able to turn past Brad Ling and then slide the ball low across Hatton into the bottom left corner of the net. It was nearly 3-1 to Hullbridge 5 minutes later but Hatton did well to acrobatically palm the ball onto the post as it looked certain to nestle in the corner of the net. Barking again hit the woodwork as they pushed for an equaliser after 65 minutes as Peagram cut in from the right wing and powered a shot which left Emery motionless but unfortunately for Peagram smacked the crossbar and rebounded away from goal. Barking did finally get their deserved equaliser after 70 minutes as the ball fell to Petrit Elbi on the edge of the box who shot low and hard and evaded the hand of Emery and found the net. The comeback was nearly complete two minutes later but Peagram skied Staunton’s dragback. Elbi found himself through on goal with 13 minutes remaining and attempted to beat Emery at his near post but saw his effort palmed away. Hullbridge were still dangerous going forward and Hatton was forced into another save with his feet after 79 minutes as a striker managed to find space running across the defence.
The chances dried up in the last ten minutes with only a skied volley in injury time from Petrit Elbi the only chance of note. The Blues would have been disappointed to not get all three points but relieved to avoid consecutive defeats in the league.
Report source: Trevor Gilbert/Barking FC
Any opinions expressed in this report are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Barking Football Club.