Date: Wednesday 16th August 2023
Competition: Essex Senior League
Venue: Lawtech Stadium
Starters: Harry Girling, Kenedi Dariri, Ciaran Burke, Dan Okah, Henry Mabassa, Harvey Brown (C), Brad Rowland, Fahad Nynja, Isioma Richard, Martin Tuohy, George Okoye
Substitutes: Kai Haysman, Samraj Gill, Gabriel Oloko, Chris Adu-Gyamfi, Tom Troubridge
74′ Oloko for Okoye
78′ Gill for Brown
90+13′ Adu-Gyamfi for Tuohy
Okoye 7′ 1-0
Bruno Gomes (Romford) 62′ 1-1
Sam Deering (Romford) 73′ 1-2
Okah 81′ 2-2
Yellow cards: Dariri, Mabassa, Tuohy, Girling, Nyanja
Red cards: Oloko
THE DOUBLE O’S HIT THE TARGET
The Double O’s of Barking: George Okoye and Dan Okah scored both goals as Barking rescued a point in another encounter with our old rivals Romford, the match didn’t fail to deliver in excitement as both teams battled to a dramatic draw. The second half stretched on and on for 60 minutes, testing the patience of players and supporters alike from both sides.
Barking coming off the back of Saturday’s 4-2 win over Stanway Rovers, made just one change to their lineup from the previous match, with Aundre Spencer stepping in for Ciaran Burke.
The opening minutes of the game saw little action, but Romford quickly made their presence known with a strong penalty appeal when Kenedi Dariri tangled with a Romford attacker. Despite the protests, the referee remained unmoved. The deadlock was broken in the 7th minute when Aundre Spencer’s corner caused confusion in Romford’s defence. Scott Doe and goalkeeper Jake Anderson both went for the ball, but it fell to Martin Tuohy whose shot was blocked. George Okoye was quick to react, slotting the ball home and giving Barking the lead.
Eight minutes later Tuohy delivered an excellent cross narrowly missing the lurking Okoye. Romford, determined to level the score, showed their intent with a fierce shot in the 17th minute, but Barking’s keeper Girling managed to deflect the effort away and Bruno Gomes fired the rebound wide As the first half progressed, both teams had their moments, with Fahad Nynja backheeling the ball to Spencer, whose cross narrowly missed Tuohy’s head. On the half hour tempers flared as Henry Mabassa pulled down Sam Deering just outside the box and the Barking defender was lucky to see only a yellow card . The resulting free kick taken by Deering ended up wide of the goal. Five minutes from the break Barking are caught upfield and Charlie Morris of Romford is allowed to get away and deliver a dangerous cross but thankfully this is cleared by the covering Kenedi Dariri who then gets up to the other end and fires in a shot which bounces off the body of keeper Anderson, with Tuohy’s follow-up effort flagged offside. In the second minute of added time Isioma Richard and Tuohy do a lovely one two and the former crosses to Brad Rowland but he fires wide. Barking goes into the break a goal up, but there is more to come
Gomes of Romford has the first shot of the second half thinking Girling is off his line but Barking’s keeper gathers the ball at the second attempt and on 49 Romford came close once again, as a menacing cross reached Deering and his header rattled the crossbar before sailing over the goal. Romford equalised on 62 but it was not without controversy as the ball went out for a throw in that was clearly Barking’s, the Assistant was overruled by the referee and the Barking’s defence switched off, allowing the cross to come in to give Gomes a straightforward chance to equalise. A couple of minutes after this Brad Rowland was sin-binned for ten minutes and Barking found they were down to ten men and nearing the end of Rowland’s ‘sentence; a goal down. Deering found the time and space to curl a precision shot into the net, giving Romford a 2-1 lead in the 73rd minute. The goal aside, Barking did manage to handle the loss of Rowland and refused to buckle under some heavy pressure. The turning point came in the 81st minute when a free-kick from Spencer resulted in a goalmouth scramble and Dan Okah managed to nod the ball over the line despite Anderson’s desperate attempt to save it and put Barking back at 2-2.
In the dying minutes of the match, Tuohy showcased his creativity with a flick that set up sub Gabriel Oloko for a promising opportunity, but the lack of support denied them a late winner. However, the dramatics continued as Oloko’s frustration boiled over, resulting in a red card after a clash with Romford’s Darren Phillps leaving Barking to hold out the remaining minutes once again with ten men.
We leave the league behind on Saturday as we travel to Scraley Road in the Preliminary Round of the FA Cup 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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