Date: Saturday 17th February 2024
Competition: Essex Senior League
Venue: Lower Road
Starters: Max Spence, Bleron Ademi, Kenedi Dariri, Jack Folan, George Forrest, Fahad Nyanja (C), Sam Dowridge, Karl Kayembe, Luke Hirst, Tony Martin, Shaye La-Rose
Substitutes: Brad Rowland, Colin Mugoya-Tabingwa, Warren Kayembe, Jack Dickinson, Olusola Ayoola
55′ Rowland for Ademi
55′ Dickinson for Dowridge
69′ Kayembe (W) for Martin
76′ Mugoya-Tabingwa for Forrest
Martin 25′ 1-0
Martin Penalty 47′ 2-0
Rowland 73′ 3-0
Hirst 90+3′ 4-0
Yellow cards: Folan, Nyanja, Kayembe (K)
Red cards: None
ITS SWEET 16 FOR BARKING
Barking made it 16 unbeaten with a convincing and complete 4-0 victory over fellow top half side Hullbridge Sports. The Yellows went into halftime leading by a single goal thanks to Tony Martin who doubled the lead from the spot just after half time before goals for Brad Rowland and Luke Hirst completed the job.
Hullbridge managed by former Biues boss Justin Gardner fielded no less than seven ex-Barking players in their match day squad. We welcomed Colin Mugoya-Tabingwa who was a second half substitute.
The visitors went close after just two minutes as Bleron Ademi’s chipped cross was met by Sam Dowridge but his header back across goal was just wide. Barking went even closer after 11 minutes as Dowridge turned provider from a free kick as his cross found George Forrest but his effort hit the base of the post. Hullbridge suggested they could cause problems while in possession but Barking took a deserved lead after 25 minutes: Max Spence’s long ball fell to Luke Hirst who slid Tony Martin through on goal and his powerful effort was simply too good for Lamar Joseph-Johnson in the home goal and the ball rocketed into the bottom corner of the net for our 50th league goal of the season.
Hullbridge thought they had an equaliser five minutes later as former Barking striker Michael Dixon found the net but he was flagged for offside.
That was it for the first half, and whatever was said in the Hullbridge dressing room at half time was surely set on fire a minute in as Luke Hirst latched onto Shaye La-Rose’s ball over the top, advanced into the box and he was tripped by Michael Agboola, leaving the referee with an easy decision to award a penalty. Tony Martin stepped up and sent Joseph-Johnson the wrong way as the ball nestled into the bottom right corner of the net.
Hullbridge’s task was made even harder after 60 minutes as Sam Owusu was shown a second yellow card for a rash tackle on Martin. The Yellows made them pay after 73 minutes – constant pressure led to Barking winning the ball back and it fell to substitute Brad Rowland and his piledriver from the corner of the box took a small nick off a defender on its way through and that was enough to take it past the arm of Joseph-Johnson and into the net.
Barking continued to play good football and keep the pressure on Hullbridge and Hirst got his reward for another good performance – Warren Kayembe slid towards a through ball which rebounded off both himself and Joseph-Johnson before kindly falling to Luke Hirst who tapped into an empty net to round off another great day for Barking.
This latest result takes us up to sixth behind Athletic Newham who we have two games in hand over and play at the Lawtech Stadium in a few weeks time. Of more immediate concern as we play Ilford at home in seven days, a positive result will equal the club record run for league and cup of 17 games set in season 1968/69.
Report source: Trevor 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.