Tower Hamlets 1 Barkingside 3
Friday 26th January
Roddy Lemba bagged a hat-trick as Barkingside returned to winning ways on Friday evening at the Mile End Stadium. The Side captain scored twice in the closing stages of the opening half then injured himself on route to securing all the spoils for Barkingside.
Both teams lost their last league engagements meaning that there was a tentative start with the ball often held up in midfield. But it was former Barkingside player Luke With who had the first meaningful effort when he took the ball down and rifled off a shot that Ryan Karrer knocked away for a corner. Lemba had a go at the Hamlets defence but found himself crowded out and then poked another effort wide. Kane Wilson went closest to breaking the deadlock for Tower Hamlets in the 21st minute when he turned and drilled a shot narrowly over.
But Barkingside gradually started getting more possession of the ball and that lead to them creating a few chances. James Briggs had a shot parried by James Pellin, after a corner could only be sliced clear by Igor Furtado into the path of the Barkingside forward.
The visitors took the lead in the 40th minute when a delivery from Aaron Hunwicks played in Lemba who was hauled down in the box. The resulting penalty was thumped home by Lemba and then five minute later Garrett Kelly played a ball over the top that Lemba connected with, lofting it over the head of the onrushing Pellin.
Having gone in at the break in the ascendency, Barkingside then offered their hosts a surreal lifeline when Hunwicks inadvertently put the ball in the back of his own net four minutes into the second half. That then lifted Tower Hamlets who were now back from the dead, with Karrer having to claim a number of crosses, while a With header had to be hooked off the line by Michael Bottone. Wilson then went even closer when his attempted lob forced Karrer to back pedal before he was able to palm the shot away.
Barkingside have had a habit of losing games in the final ten minutes so far this term and as the game reached the 80 minute mark they were still not sure of the points. However a beautiful cross from Santos was headed straight at the keeper by Lemba, while Kelly went even closer when his shot rattled the cross bar.
However Lemba made sure of victory in the 83rd minute when his bravery saw him get his head on a cross, knocking it past Pellin, injuring himself in the process, but claiming his hat-trick as well as winning the game for Barkingside. There was no way back for Tower Hamlets, although Wale Odedoyin was able to back heel a ball into the back of the Barkingside net but the goal was ruled out for an infringement in the approach play.
The win moves Barkingside up to 16th, while Tower Hamlets drop down to 8th.
Tower Hamlets: James Pellin, Danny McCarthy, John Watson (James Ross 68’), Harry Matthews, Jerome Anthony, Jacob Kolonda, Jerry Jairette, Frankie Sinclair (Capt), Wale Odedoyin, Kane Wilson, Luke With, Igor Furtado (Tola Odedoyin 36’).
Scorer – (Own Goal 49’)
Barkingside: Ryan Karrer, Akil Clarke, Aaron Hunwicks, Michael Bottone, Joe Mendy, Dapo Abitogun, Garrett Kelly, Kofi Billzy, Roddy Lemba (Capt) (Gareth Jones 84’), James Briggs (Michael Ogboin 65’), Tyrone Mulholland (Matheus Santos 59’).
Scorer – Roddy Lemba (40’, 45’p, 83’)
Report by Scott Lanza / Photo by Neil Hunwicks @ABridgeTooFar16