Date: Tuesday 5th March 2024
London Senior Cup Quarter Final
Princes Park
Attendance: 103
Starters: Max Spence, Bleron Ademi, Brad Rowland, Jack Folan, George Forrest, Joe Clark, Kenedi Dariri (C), Connor Witherspoon, Tony Martin, Declan Nche, Jack Dickinson
Substitutes: Luke Hirst, Shaye La-Rose, Karl Kayembe, Sam Dowridge, Charlie Thomson
HT La-Rose for Ademi
54′ Kayembe for Witherspoon
61′ Hirst for Folan
61′ Dowridge for Nche
86′ Thomson for Forrest
Micah Mbick (Charlton) 16′ 0-1
Pat Casey (Charlton) 24′ 0-2
Pat Casey (Charlton) 38′ 0-3
Martin 51′ 1-3
Micah Mbick (Charlton) 62′ 1-4
Kayembe 64′ 2-4
Forrest 68′ 3-4
Yellow cards: Folan, Rowland
Red cards: None



Last season we met Charlton at the semi final stage and lost 5-0,this time it was a much closer affair and in the end there were some what if’s. What if after making it 3-1 we didn’t concede a fourth or what if after making it 4-3 either or both efforts from George Forrest or Tony Martin had hit the net and not the bar.

However, in the end we can be proud of the second half performance and that we pushed the young professionals of Charlton as hard as we could but fell just short of qualifying for the semi finals.

Connor Witherspoon made his first start and 16 year old Charlie Thomson who has been playing for the Under 23’s made a second half debut from the bench, Declan Nche made a return from injury to start for the first time since early December.

Right from the kick off, the professionals of Charlton displayed their attacking intent, with Tolu Ladapo immediately marked out as the home side’s danger man. In the sixth minute, the home side came close to opening the scoring, firstly they were denied by an excellent save from Max Spence, with the follow up shot smacking against the crossbar. Throughout the first half, Charlton’s strategy of playing cross-field balls to stretch Barking’s defence was fully evident. However, Barking’s Joe Clark, filling in for the unavailable Fahad Nyanja, put in a solid defensive display with crucial blocks and tackles. Barking’s first notable chance arrived in the 12th minute when Declan Nche set up Brad Rowland, whose effort was deflected behind for a corner. However, Charlton seized control of the match with Micah Mbick firing home a shot from a Ladapo run into the box in the 16th minute to give the hosts a 1-0 lead. Just eight minutes later, Pat Casey doubled Charlton’s advantage with a well-taken shot after another run into the box. Despite Barking’s efforts to mount a comeback, with Rowland and Tony Martin both having chances, Charlton extended their lead to 3-0 in the 38th minute when Mbick crossed for Casey to score his second of the night. As half time approached, Connor Witherspoon laid the ball off to Rowland but his shot cleared the bar, again Barking had another good passing move, but not much to show for it.

The second half began with Charlton maintaining their attacking momentum, but Barking gradually clawed their way back into the game. In the 51st minute, Rowland set Jack Dickinson free and his cross found Tony Martin and his first time shot leaves Athletic goalkeeper Lewis Ward helpless and the ball is in the net for 3-1. A superb finish from the Barking striker. 


However, Charlton restored their three-goal advantage in the 62nd minute as some slack play down the left allowed Ladapo’s to cross and Mbick turned the ball home for his second goal of the night. Yet, Barking refused to concede defeat, just two minutes later, Dickinson’s header frees Martin who is deemed to be onside and he plays the ball to Karl Kayembe who takes his time, picks his spot and his low shot finds the net for 4-2. 


The drama continued as a spell of pressure from Barking culminated in George Forrest scoring his first goal for the club in the 68th minute as Rowland passes Luke Hirst who in turn finds Sam Dowridge whose cross is met by Forrest who turns and shoots into the net for 4-3 and his first goal in a Barking shirt. It’s nearly 4-4 ten minutes from time as Dowridge recycles a corner and Hirst at the back post nods the cross back to Forrest who on the stretch hits the bar and the ball is away from danger. In the midst of this there is also a big penalty shout for handball which is not given, even though the Charlton defender came close to catching the ball.


In the second minute of added time there was more agony as Barking nearly levelled the scores as a free kick caused Charlton problems and Martin shoots but his effort cannons off the bar with Ward just a spectator.


Despite trying their hardest Barking cannot fashion another telling chance and even goalkeeper Spence comes up for a late set piece, but despite losing their second game in a row there are many positives about this defeat.

It’s back to the league on Saturday to meet Athletic Newham for the first time this season at the Lawtech Stadium with the usual 3pm kick off.

Report source: Terry 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.


Charlton Athletic FC U21’s v Barking FC  - Tuesday March 5th 2024

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