Date: Saturday 23rd March 2024
Essex Senior League
Millbank Stadium
Attendance: 290
Starters: Dan Purdue, Fahad Nyanja, Kenedi Dariri (C), Jack Folan, Pat Ahern, Michael Aziaya, Jack Dickinson, Connor Witherspoon, Luke Hirst, Izzy Bademosi, Shaye La-Rose
Substitutes: George Forrest, Brad Rowland, Karl Kayembe, Sam Dowridge, Warren Kayembe
55′ Dowridge for Bademosi
55′ Kayembe (K) for Dickinson
65′ Kayembe (W) for Folan
80′ Rowland for Hirst
La-Rose 73′ 1-0
Yellow cards: Rowland, Nyanja
Red cards: None



We were seeking to erase the memory of the 6-0 drubbing suffered back on October 28th, which ultimately led to the change in management and fortunes. However, we did manage to secure a narrow victory by just one goal scored by Shaye La-Rose, his first for the club in 23 appearances as we won 1-0 for the second match in a row.

Credit must be given to Halstead Town, who despite being reduced to ten men six minutes before half time, continued to push on and resist, even hitting our bar late in the game. But in the end we were not to be denied our fifth consecutive win in league and cup matches.

Pat Ahern, who has been signed on a dual registration from Witham Town, made his debut and contributed towards the team’s clean sheet.

Both teams struggled to find their rhythm early on, which was characterised by a flurry of activity around each other’s penalty areas. Dan Purdue did face a setback due to a collision while attempting to thwart a scoring opportunity, but he managed to shake off the effects as the half progressed. The flow of the game was disrupted by a series of niggly fouls, stopping any significant momentum for either side. At the 23rd minute mark, Connor Witherspoon won the ball and fed it to Luke Hirst whose shot was saved by Halstead keeper Jack Cherry, albeit after a second attempt. Halstead pushed forward with purpose on 32, when a slick passing move found Joel Older but his attempt from a tight angle went wide. Barking retaliated with intent, pressing forward themselves with seven minutes of the half left when another good passing move ends with Fahad Nyanja heading on for Izzy Bademosi who fires in a shot and although Cherry spills the ball Jack Dickinson can’t take advantage of the slight error. However, a reckless challenge on Hirst by Lewis Cunliffe of Halstead, results in a straight red card for the home player after 39th minutes and reduces Halstead’s player count for the remainder of the match. There is not much to report for the rest of the half, except for a sudden shower of hail which prompted supporters to quickly seek shelter in the stand.

As the second half commenced, Barking tried to seize the initiative, applying pressure on Halstead’s defence to try to make the man advantage count. Even after making two substitutions, Barking couldn’t convert their efforts into clear-cut opportunities, while Halstead seemed to be moving closer and closer back to their own box. After 63 minutes the visitors had their most promising attack to date when Shaye La-Rose found Nyanja who ran into the area and delivered a tempting cross into the box which narrowly evaded the foot of Sam Dowridge. The breakthrough finally came after 73 minutes, as Pat Ahern found Shaye La-Rose who ran down the line, cutting across the penalty area to unleash a powerful shot past the stranded Cherry into the net.


The goal sends Barking off seeking a second, with 75 gone Hirst finds Dowridge but he can only shoot wide of the target, four minutes later Hirst robs Cherry in the area and with the goal unguarded his shot finds only the side of the net.


With a minute left there was a nervy moment as a Halstead corner was cleared, but not far enough and a looping shot thankfully drops on to the bar and goes over. That was the last chance for either side and after four added minutes the final whistle blew to give us our fifth consecutive victory.

We have another tough game on Tuesday evening as we travel to face league leaders Tilbury, who will no doubt be eager to claim the three points, especially after our recent Errington Challenge cup victory.

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.


Halstead Town FC v Barking FC - Saturday March 23rd 2024

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