Barkingside 2 Clapton 3 (Premier Division)
The inaugural Essex Senior League groundhop started on Friday evening as Barkingside took on Clapton at Cricklefields. The hosts were rewarded with their biggest league attendance of the season as 273 supporters, including a large contingent of Clapton supporters, but continued their recent losing streak by losing by the odd goal in five.
In truth there was not much in way of goalmouth action in the first half as the majority of the play was in the midfield. Ben Clarke and Tony Cookey had speculative shots that didn’t trouble the Clapton keeper and the next real Barkingside effort, which came in the 30th minute, also ended up miles too high as Euan Taylor-Reid couldn’t keep his shot down. Clapton’s first shot came in the 36th minute when Hassan Nalbani let fly, with his shot also widely missing the target.
The Tons then took the lead in the 39th minute when one of the first real penetrative balls into the box ended up being slotted home by Jeffrey Cobblah. But the hosts were back on level terms just before the break when Besi Toke banged a shot past Jerry Jarlette.
The Tons re-took the lead within three minutes of the re-start after a ball was played towards Ryan Reid who didn’t waste the opportunity. Reid then forced Will Hunt to parry a shot soon after and Jayden Mitchell-Brown went close for the hosts with a rasping drive that almost dipped under the cross bar.
However after that brief flurry the game then again got drawn out in midfield meaning that there were few chances until the 70th minute when Jarlette showed some fine goalkeeping to tip away a David Etcheri shot. That brief spell of attack seemed to wake the hosts up as they were back on level terms in the 75th minute. Ogboin received a ball with his back to goal, he turned and fired into the bottom left hand corner to provide his side with an equaliser.
Ten minutes later the Tons took the lead for the third time of the evening when Reid had a wonder shot hit that curled into the top corner of the net to extend Clapton’s winning run to eight.
Barkingside: Will Hunt, Joe Newbold, Brad Gayer, David Etcheri, Euan Taylor-Reid, Besi Toke, Jayden Mitchell-Brown, Bradley Joseph, Michael Ogboin (Rayjon Moore), Tony Cookey, Ben Clarke (Ricardo Bailey)
Scorers – Besi Toke (45’), Michael Ogboin (75’)
Clapton: Jerry Jarlette, Lanre Virgio, Youseff Bello (Jay Morris), Dylan Ebongio, Quincy Egbejace, Ohi Longe (Yemi Olajide), Ryan Reid, Andy Greenslade, Hassan Nalbani, Andre Spencer, Jeffrey Cobblah (Jojo Akinyessi).
Scorers – Jeffrey Cobblah (39’), Ryan Reid (48’, 85’)
Report by Scott Lanza / Photo by @claptonfcnews