Redbridge 3 Stansted 2
Tuesday 30th January
Calvin Poku came off the bench to net a late winner for Redbridge against Stansted as they made it thirteen straight league wins and went six clear at the top of the Essex Senior League.
The visitors were in decent form themselves coming into this one having taken ten points from twelve since the turn of the year and so this one promised to be a decent showing.
It started very well for the hosts though as in just the 4th minute, moments after Stansted keeper Laurence Whymark had beaten away a Brian Moses effort, the keeper inexplicably dropped a ball at the feet of Moses, and the Redbridge forward rolled the loose ball into the empty net.
The visitors responded well though to going behind and on the quarter hour mark saw Redbridge keeper Lewis Greene come out and collide with Stansted’s Julian Lloyd as he ran onto a ball forward. The visitors were furious as they were adamant they should have had a foul, but the referee saw the infringement against the visiting man.
But just four minutes later the Airportmen were celebrating when after winning a free kick outside the box, Stefan Nielsen rifled the set piece into the bottom corner and Stansted were level.
Redbridge went close on the half hour mark when an Eljay Worrell free kick almost saw Coxi-Sebastfao get on the end of it, however it remained 1-1; that was until seven minutes before the break when a defensive slip allowed Jacob Dingli in on goal and he made no mistake by slotting into the far corner to restore the hosts lead.
Late on in the half Stansted attempted to get back on level terms once again and saw a ball from skipper Ryan Ramsey fired into the danger zone was hacked over his bar by Jonathon Mbamarah, although the resulting corner came to nothing though.
Redbridge then went close to making it three just before half time, firstly seeing the ball drop to Dingli on the edge of the box but firing an effort straight at Whymark, before the keeper then tipped a Thomas Gogo effort onto the bar before Moses fired over.
In was the final act in a competitive first period and saw the hosts ahead at the break.
Stansted to their credit kept fighting and were back on level terms again in the 56th minute when after Lloyd had charged after the full back to try and get the ball, he caught him and stole the ball off him, crossed towards skipper Ramsey who fired brilliantly into the top corner for a wonderful equaliser.
Just past the hour mark came a six minute delay after Stansted’s Jack West suffered a knee injury and received treatment before being carried off, but the game had become rather fractious and scrappy in what were now wet conditions at Oakside.
And in the 68th minute Redbridge missed a golden opportunity to retake the lead for a third time when Moses somehow headed a free kick wide from inside the six yard box, it looked easier to score if truth be told.
However in the 76th minute it was the visitors who had their head in their hands as they went so close to taking the lead as Lloyd pounced on a defensive slip, poked the ball towards goal, but the lack of power meant Courtney Homans managed to get back to clear the ball off the line.
Back down the other end and the hosts saw an effort deflected over, before the visitors almost netted with ten minutes remaining when Nielsen fired just wide of the far post after a ball had been cut back to him by Paul Preston.
Redbridge responded with another chance of their own when Moses got to the byline and saw his cross just go over the head of Reside Coxi-Sebastfao at the far post, and the game had now become rather lively with both teams upset with some of the referee’s decisions, however it remained 2-2 as the game entered a long period of stoppage time.
Poku had been brought on along with Sipho Mtyanda to try and find a winner, and five minutes into the extra period they found one, and it was that man Poku who found space inside the box to smash home and send Redbridge wild with delight.
And despite the referee playing another ten minutes extra, Redbridge took the points and thus ended Stansted’s unbeaten start to 2018, after digging out another victory in this one.
Redbridge: Lewis Greene, Courtney Homans, Eljay Worrell (Capt), Remi Nelson (Lindisipho Mtyanda 90+3’), Vinny Murphy, Jonathon Mbamarah, Thomas Gogo, Billy Golledge, Jacob Dingli (Liam Thomas 90+9’), Brian Moses, Reside Coxi-Sebastfao (Calvin Poku 90+3’).
Scorers – Brian Moses (4’), Jacob Dingli (38’), Calvin Poku (90+6’)
Stansted: Laurence Whymark, Papa Asamoah, Jahvanne Wilson, Sam West, Chris Moore, Stefan Nielsen (Jack Sykes 90+3’), Paul Preston, Elias Olmos (Jevoy Blair 90+9’), Julien Lloyd, Jack West (Warren Fernandez 67’), Ryan Ramsey (Capt).
Scorers – Stefan Nielsen (18’), Ryan Ramsey (56’)
Report by Peter Dudley @ped1980 / Photo by Phillip Lindhurst @themotormen