Date: Saturday 19th August 2023
FA Cup Preliminary Round
Scraley Road
Attendance: 214
Starters: Harry Girling, Tom Troubridge, Henry Mabassa, Dan Okah, Kenedi Dariri, Aundre Spencer (C), Fahad Nynja, Samraj Gill, Martin Tuohy, Kai Haysman, George Okoye
Substitutes: Harvey Brown, Cairan Burke, Brad Rowland, Christian Adu-Gyamfi, Mitchell Cohen, Gabriel Oloko, David Owiredu
38′ Adu-Gyamfi for Tuohy
58′ Rowland for Gill
73′ Owiredu for Haysman
Sam Park (Heybridge) 23′ 0-1
Rob Harvey (Heybridge) 42′ 0-2

Yellow cards: Mabassa
Red cards: None



Barking’s participation in this season’s FA Cup sadly came to an end at the home of their higher ranked opponents, although the final scoreline perhaps flattered a Heybridge side featuring former blues Kieran Jones and Kane Munday.

After the usual cagey opening, Heybridge forced two corners in quick succession within the first ten minutes leading to goal bound headers, but Harry Girling was well positioned to save both. Barking’s first chance came after fifteen minutes, Kai Haysman’s weak shot failing to trouble home keeper Callum Chafer, but the opening goal came after twenty minutes, as following what seemed to be a fair challenge by Dan Okah, the resulting free kick was curled over the defensive wall by Heybridge’s Sam Park and into the net via the underside of the cross bar. Barking responded with a free kick of their own after twenty-five minutes, Samraj Gill’s delivery evading everyone before running out of play, and three minutes later, a further free kick from Aundre Spencer was only partially cleared by the home defence, and when the ball was delivered back in, Kenedi Dariri narrowly failed to divert it beyond Chafer as his well-timed run evaded the offside trap. On thirty-three minutes Martin Tuohy then latched onto a through ball but was injured in a collision with the quickly advancing Chafer, resulting in his withdrawal four minutes later, being replaced by Chris Adu Gyamfi. Barking continued to press, but on forty-two minutes, after a Barking free kick near the home goal line had been blocked, the resulting clearance allowed Rob Harvey to outpace the covering defenders and slot the ball past the advancing Girling into the far corner.

A fired-up Barking started the second half much the livelier, and almost pulled a goal back within the first few minutes with Haysman’s corner being headed wide by Henry Mabassa, Adu Gyamfi having a shot well saved by Chafer, and George Okoye forcing another corner from a covering defender. However, possibly our best chance came on fifty-two minutes, as another Gill corner was headed back across the penalty area by Dariri, only for Okoye to fail to make clean contact with the ball and his header flew wide. Barking continued to press and Dariri’s well directed cross was well claimed under pressure by Chafer before the home side finally produced a chance of their own, Park’s shot being blocked by the defence. With Adu Gyamfi beginning to create some uncertainty in the home defence, Barking did finally get the ball in the Heybridge net on fifty-seven minutes, but Okoye was adjudged to have fouled a defender as he managed to turn in Hayman’s cross. With Brad Rowland replacing Gill, Barking continued to press and Fahad Nyanja’s pass to the overlapping Aundre Spencer was just over hit, before a marauding run from Rowland created another crossing opportunity for Haysman, but his delivery was easily dealt with by the home defence. On seventy-two minutes, Okoye and Dariri played a good one-two with Heybridge finally able to clear the ball for another Barking corner, and the Blues made their final change on 73 minutes, with David Owiredu replacing Haysman. and he almost made an immediate impact, cutting in between two covering defenders out wide, but his final cross was behind two onrushing attackers. Dariri then found himself in space some twenty-five yards out, but he couldn’t keep his shot down, but on seventy-eight minutes, Barking’s plans were disrupted with Mabassa having his ankle trodden on as he fell following a corner, and although he did return after lengthy treatment, the Blues were forced to play with ten men as the minutes ticked by, having used all their substitutes. With the Blues unable to create any more chances following this, Heybridge were able to manage the game without further alarm.

Report source: Keith Whittington/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.