Date: Saturday 4th November 2023
Essex Senior League
Catons Lane
Attendance: 202
Starters: Miraldie Ndunzi, Mo Amghar, Joe Clark, Fahad Nyanja (C), Kenedi Dariri, Jack Folan, Jack Dickinson, Karl Kayembe, Luke Hirst, Greg Akpele, Maliq Jikiemi
Substitutes: Kai Haysman, Mitchell Cohen, Oumar Ndao, Bleron Ademi, Brad Rowland
HT Ademi for Clark
52′ Rowland for Amghar
59′ Ndao for Akpele
Hirst 7′ 1-0
Own Goal (Saffron Walden) 33′ 1-1
Akpele Penalty 38′ 2-1
Darnell Kithambo (Saffron Walden) 62′ 2-2
Yellow cards: Amghar, Dariri
Red cards: None



The new management team of Jonny Fowell and Mike Walther got off to a solid start in their new roles with a welcome point against Saffron Walden Town with a much improved and resilient display. The home side themselves were looking to make inroads towards the play off places.

As to be expected with the change of management there were changes to the playing staff. We welcomed back Jack Folan and Maliq Jikiemi and new faces Mo Amghar, Greg Akpele and Bleron Ademi.

The match began with a sense of relief for the Barking supporters as their team managed to avoid conceding a first minute goal, unlike in their previous two league games. Just seven minutes in, keeper Miraldie Ndunzi launches a long ball forward.which Greg Akpele deftly flicks on to release Luke Hirst. With confidence, Hirst calmly and powerfully shoots the ball high shot into the net, comfortably beating the home keeper Jarvis Monk.


The tenth minute brought a dangerous Saffron Walden corner, which Barking keeper Miraldie Ndunzi managed to keep out and despite appeals for handball from the home side, no penalty was awarded by the referee. The home side begin to apply pressure, but Barking’s defensive unit comfortably deal with anything that comes their way. In the 32nd minute, Barking had their first chance in a while as a corner was recycled by Jack Dickinson. Hirst found himself clear again, but his shot went straight at Monk. Just a minute later the home side were level after forcing two corners, from the second the ball was scrambled home via a Barking player. The assistant referee signalled that the ball had crossed the line before being cleared and the scores were level at 1-1. The 38th minute brought more drama as a corner led to a tangle among a group of players. The referee pointed to the spot, and Greg Akpele confidently dispatched the kick into the net marking his debut with a goal and giving Barking a 2-1 lead which they managed to comfortably defend until half time.

The second half saw both teams cancelling each other out, with few chances being created. However, in the 62nd minute, Barking paid a heavy price for failing to clear the ball despite having several attempts. The ball eventually fell to Darnell Kithambo who fired it across Ndunzi and into the net, tying up the score at 2-2. Barking had a let-off four minutes later when Joni Vurat struck the post with a firm shot that could easily have been a goal. Following the equaliser, Barking found themselves pushed back towards their own goal, weathering a storm of attacks. Eventually, they regrouped and began moving forward. Two minutes from time, the home side were temporarily reduced to ten men due for a sin bin offence. In added time, Barking pressed for a winner but couldn’t create the golden chance they needed. However, they held on for a deserved draw in a closely contested and well fought match.

We do not have another game for seven days and next Saturday we continue our run of away games when we visit the Jack Carter centre to take on Frenford in the league.

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.


Saffron Walden Town FC v Barking FC - Saturday November 4th 2023

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