Date: Tuesday 12th September 2023
Competition: Essex Senior League
Venue: Lawtech Stadium
Starters: Harry Girling, Kenedi Dariri, Joe Clark, Tom Troubridge, Aundre Spencer, Kai Haysman, Brad Rowland, Fahad Nyanja, Yassier Nazor, Martin Tuohy, Luke Hirst
Substitutes: Jack Dickinson, Ibrahim Kehinde, Godwin Fuma, Gael Kileba, Henry Mabassa
50′ Kileba for Haysman
82′ Dickinson for Tuohy
Rowland 40′ 1-0
Adam Vyse (Great Wakering) 43′ 1-1
Adam Vyse Penalty (Great Wakering) 70′ 1-2
Hirst 82′ 2-2
Yellow cards: Clark, Girling
Red cards: None
LUKE STILL (T)HIRSTY FOR GOALS
Luke Hirst, who had left Barking for Enfield last season made a triumphant return to his former club in his first game back by rescuing a valuable point for his “newish” side with a late equaliser against Great Wakering Rovers. The encounter took an unexpected turn as Rovers, who were leading through a 70th-minute penalty found themselves in a favourable position with Barking’s keeper Harry Girling, in the sin bin. However, Barking managed to halt their slide after enduring four consecutive league and cup defeats.
Both teams started with intent, but the first clear chance came in the 2nd minute when Fahad Nynja’s header provided Martin Tuohy with an opportunity. However, Tuohy’s effort sailed over the crossbar. In the early stages, both teams seemed to be feeling each other out, with little significant action in either penalty area. The goalkeepers were at this point more like spectators than participants as the play unfolded at a rapid pace, but neither side managed to break through the resolute defences. The 21st minute brought a burst of excitement as Yassier Nazor weaved his way into the box but overhit his cross, missing his waiting teammates. Just a minute later, a period of pinball in the Barking box led to a Rovers player taking a shot, but home keeper Harry Girling was equal to the effort turning the ball behind for a corner. As the half-hour mark approached, Rovers forced a series of corners, but Barking’s defence stood firm clearing each one without incident. In the 40th minute the Blues broke forward and Luke Hirst found Nazor, who showcased some nifty footwork before passing to Brad Rowland and he calmly fired a low shot into the net, giving Barking a 1-0 lead.
However, Barking’s lead lasted just three minutes as Rovers capitalised on a corner with the ball headed back across goal leaving Adam Vyse with a straightforward header to equalise.
The second half continued in a similar pattern, with Rovers winning a couple of corners and free kicks but failing to convert them into clear-cut chances and Barking responded with pressure of their own but struggled to create anything decisive in the final third. Rovers came agonisingly close to taking the lead in the 67th minute when, following a throw-in, they hit the crossbar in a moment that seemed certain to end in a goal. In the 70th minute the visitors were awarded a penalty after a foul by Girling, but the Barking goalkeeper nearly made amends by getting a hand to Vyse’s penalty deflecting it on its way to the net. Barking found it challenging to regain any degree of control and in the 85th minute our fortunes took a further hit as Girling was sin-binned for dissent after expressing his opinion a bit too vehemently to the referee. Tom Troubridge pulled on the gloves Barely a minute later from the resulting free kick Wakering switched off defensively allowing Aundre Spencer’s delivery to be flicked on by Joe Clark to Luke Hirst who controlled the ball and found the net to make it 2-2. Hirst’s goal, his 18th in 23 appearances for Barking. After the equaliser both sides tried to score a third and decisive goal but Barking with ten men and no goalkeeper preserving the point was probably the best option and from one corner late in the game Troubridge makes a good punch and the home side held on to claim a welcome point after finishing consecutive matches with an outfield player in goal in what was a rollercoaster of a match.
We are at home again on Saturday as basement team Coggeshall Town visit the Lawtech Stadium with a 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.
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