Barkingside 0 FC Romania 1
Monday 29th January
FC Romania kept their hand in the title race with a laboured performance against Barkingside at Cricklefield on Monday that was finally settled by a Cosmin Anton penalty in the 71st minute.
The visitors were nearly gifted an own goal in the opening stages when an over hit back pass by Bradley Joseph went past Ryan Karrer and nearly crept into the net. The Wolves tried to play their trademark passing football, but the only chances they crafted in the opening 15 minutes was a George Taban effort that sailed over the cross bar and a Mihai Botosan shot that was aimed directly at the Barkingside keeper.
The rest of the half continued to be a scrappy affair as neither side where able to keep the ball long enough to mount any serious attacks on their opponents; Roddy Lemba was able to get the ball into the FC Romania box but had his run ended by a block and the opportunity was then snuffed out. Karrer was kept busy with a Florin Pop cross which he cut out; while Balsanu and Anton both played balls into the Side box, but there was no end product and so Karrer was rarely troubled. Botosan was able to connect with one ball that cleared the Side defence; however the final shot was scooped over the bar. Gabriel Stroe, the FC Romania custodian, also spent the half as a spectator rather than being called upon to do too much goalkeeping work, although he did have to parry Ryan Inbert’s header after he was targeted by a Bradley Joseph free kick
The second half continued in the same fashion as the first, although Matheus Santos buzzed around the midfield the hosts created little up front. The Wolves were able to carve out a couple of half-chances, as firstly Botosan directed a header straight at Karrer, while soon afterwards Andrei Bariu did the same with a shot outside the box..
The Barkinside glovesman then saved his side’s blushed when he pulled off a reaction save at close range from a Bariu shot. The opportunity was literally handed on a plate as Mendy failed to cut out a deep cross from the right, allowing Bariu to have time and space to get a pick a spot; it was a brilliant piece of keeping from Karrer to keep the ball out.
The Wolves were not to be denied though, as they were awarded a penalty in the 71st minute which was smashed home by Cosmin Anton. Victory wasn’t assured though although Sergiu Teleoaca connected with a Florian Pop high ball with a spectacular acrobatic volley, which sadly lacked a suitably sublime finish as it sailed well away from the target. And then right at the end of the game Lemba drilled a shot that was far too high and with it went his side’s chance to salvage a point. FC Romania meanwhile stretch their unbeaten League run to 18 games and remain 2nd in the table.
Barkingside: Ryan Karrer, Bradley Joseph (Jayden Mitchell-Brown 46’), Aaron Hunwicks, Garrett Kelly, Joseph Mendy, Dapo Abitogun, Roddy Lemba (Capt), Kofi Billzy (James Briggs 78’), Ryan Imbert, Michael Ogboin (David Etcheri (31’), Matheus Santos.
FC Romania: Gabriel Stroe, Mihai Dinu, Cosmin Sandu, Dinu Barcari, Andrei Bariu, Felix Lupu, Adrian Balsanu (Laurentio Teleoaca 56’), George Taban (Capt), Mihai Botosan (Sergiu Pitaru 72’), Cosmin Anton (Sergiu Maximov 84’), Florin Pop.
Scorer – Cosmin Anton (71’p)
Report by Scott Lanza / Photo by Neil Hunwicks @ABridgeTooFar16