Date: Saturday 16th December 2023
Essex Senior League
Lawtech Stadium
Attendance: 62
Starters: Ben Lane, Brad Rowland, Kenedi Dariri, Ahmed Mohammed, Vanadiny Mendes, Fahad Nyanja (C), Karl Kayembe, Jack Folan, Luke Hirst, Sam Shaban, Shaye La-Rose
Substitutes: Joshua Fisayo, Jack Dickinson, Declan Nche,  Anthony Martin, Samuel Dowridge
22′ Dickinson for Mendes
75′ Dowridge for Kayembe
Shaban 8′ 1-0
Harry Mann 90+5′ (Little Oakley) 1-1

Yellow cards: Dickinson, Dowridge
Red cards: Lane



It was heartbreak for the Blues as they conceded another late equaliser against Little Oakley as Barking played out their second 1-1 in a row. Sam Shaban headed the Blues in front early in the first half, with goalkeeper Ben Lane seeing red shortly after. Barking held firm but Little Oakley eventually broke through our defences with the final kick of the game.

Oakley went close after three minutes from a header at the far post but it was Barking who took the lead five minutes later as Sam Shaban showed everyone how it was done: Jack Folan’s pinpoint corner was met by the head of Shaban and the ball nestled in the bottom left corner of the net. The task was made a lot harder for the Blues as after 15 minutes, Ahmed Mohammed’s long ball back towards Ben Lane was too close to an onrushing Oakley striker, with Lane fouling the striker as he attempted to go past him. As the foul occurred outside the penalty box and with no one between the striker and the goal, the referee had little alternative but to give the Barking keeper his marching orders, even if there was little Ben could have done, he was replaced by striker Luke Hirst. Barking were not deterred however and Oakley could not break the Blues down, it was actually Barking who were the next to go close, and probably should have scored, as Jack Folan’s pressure saw an errant backpass set Shaban through on goal, but the ball took an awkward spin and bounce and Sam could only half-volley it over the bar.

The second half continued where the first left off, Barking comfortably despite the numerical deficit and having the better of the chances. It took 15 minutes of the second half for the first shot on target, early substitute Jack Dickinson was put through on goal down the right wing of the box, and saw his effort from a narrow angle saved by the feet of Billy Lawlor in the Oakley goal. five minutes later it was Oakley who went close as header looped over the bar but it was Barking who missed another golden chance moments later: Shaban turned provider as his low ball across the box from the right wing found Karl Kayembe in space but he ended up with an airshot as he missed the ball. While the numerical deficit wasn’t making a difference on the goal statistic the extra effort exerted by the Blues was starting to take its toll. Little Oakley while not testing Hirst had more time on the ball and found themselves putting pressure on the Barking goal, with Hirst tipping the ball over directly from a corner. The Blues were still a danger on the counter and new signing Sam Dowridge went close with five minutes to go but in a similar position to where Dickinson was Lawlor just kept the ball from going under him with wrist. Oakley found themselves camped in the Barking half as the moments ticked down and we entered a minimum four minutes of injury time. The Blues kept managing to scramble the ball away but after an extra minute over the four it was one corner too many for the Blues – the ball was floated to the far post and was eventually scrambled over the line by Harry Mann for the Oakley equaliser. As the Blues kicked off the final whistle was blown to compound Barking’s disappointment however the side can take the positives from how they played for the entirety of the game.

It is a change of competition on Tuesday evening as we travel to Haringey Borough in the second round of the London Senior cup with a 7:45pm kick off.

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.


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