Date: Saturday 6th April 2024
Essex Senior League
Station Road
Attendance: 117

Starters: Max Spence, Brad Rowland, Joe Clark, Jack Folan, Michael Aziaya, Pat Ahern, Jack Dickinson, Kenedi Dariri (C), Luke Hirst, Sam Dowridge, Shaye La-Rose
Substitutes: Bleron Ademi, Michael Osei, Karl Kayembe, Fahad Nyanja, Wale Odedoyin
50′ Nyanja for Rowland
51′ Osei for Clark
65′ Odedoyin for Dickinson
65′ Kayembe for Aziaya
89′ Ademi for Osei
Hirst 17 1-0
Hirst 24 2-0
Kieran Southgate (Takeley) 38 2-1
Jordan Westcott (Takeley) 58 2-2
Yellow cards: Spence
Red cards: Hirst



It was a game of ups and downs for Barking as they drew 2-2 with Takeley after being 2-0 up but a red card shown to double scorer Luke Hirst no doubt changed the course of the game as Takeley fought their way back into it.

Joe Clark went close early on as he nodded over a bouncing half volley from Luke Hirst. It was Luke Hirst who opened the scoring after 17 minutes as a strong press forced Takeley to play the ball to Jack Folan – he then played it to Hirst who drove past a Takeley defender before shooting low and hard back across the goalkeeper and into the net. Barking doubled their lead seven minutes later, this time Shaye La-Rose won the ball back in the Takeley half, Luke Hirst ran onto his chipped through ball and lifted the ball over the Takeley goalkeeper Joe Wright and into the net. The game shifted however as it entered the final ten minutes of the first half, first Kieran Southgate beat Michael Aziaya to a dangerous cross and powered his header past Max Spence to halve the deficit and then moments later Barking were down to ten: Hirst was sent off for kicking out during a tussle with a defender.

Barking saw the rest of the first half out but the second half was all Takeley to start with and they scored a deserved equaliser with just over half an hour remaining as Jordan Wescott headed home. Max Spence made a strong one-handed save five minutes later and Southgate should have put Takeley in the lead after 70 minutes – a cross from the left wing found him unmarked at the penalty spot but his pea-roller of a shot was straight at Spence. Barking had a similar moment minutes later, Kenedi Dariri drove down the right before passing to Folan, who’s cross deflected to Wale Odedoyin at the far post, but from yards out his air shot saw the ball go harmlessly away from goal. Takeley kept pushing forward with Spence forced into another good save with his feet. Spence nearly got into trouble with his feet with five minutes remaining, as he rushed from his box to attempt to clear the ball and ended up clearing out the opposition striker, but the referee saw fit to only award the Barking keeper with a caution. The free kick itself was just wide of the target. Both teams pushed into injury time and Barking again had Spence to thank as Takeley countered a corner, only for the striker to cut in from the left and shoot low but straight at him. In the end it was another point for the Yellows away from home as they look to achieve a playoff spot.

We continue our travels as we visit Saffron Walden Town on Tuesday evening in the quarter finals of the Errington Challenge cup.

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.