Takeley 7 Barkingside 0 (Premier Division)
To win titles means turning your home ground into a fortress and Station Road has certainly become that this term as Takeley have yet to lose a home game . On Saturday they made it win number nine from their ten opening league games as they brushed past Barkingside with relative ease.
Will Hunt had to deal with a few early corners as Takeley took the game by the scruff of the neck from the start. An Alex Martin free kick then reached Carl Mullings whose shot was blocked and the same player, making his debut in Takeley colours, had another shot deflected away for a corner soon afterwards. Hunt had certainly been kept busy and pulled off a superb save to tip away a Mitchell Das free kick in the 11th minute. It seemed only a matter of time before Takeley would score and they were awarded a penalty just before the quarter hour mark but Das spurned the opportunity going for power rather than accuracy, as a result his penalty was smashed high of the target.
Takeley’s passing was at times sublime and a midfield splitting pass to William Green ended up with him delivering a pinpoint cross that Mullings almost connected with. The corner count continued to favour the hosts as Barkingside’s defence put bodies on the line, in the case of Euan Taylor-Reid his head after blocking a powerful shot from Das.
Whilst Barkingside had stood firm it is fair to say that it was no surprise when the hosts took the lead in the 26th minute. An Alex Martin free kick was headed past Hunt by Matt Gill and Takeley’s account was now open.
It took Barkingside until the 35th minute before they could offer anything upfront. Tony Cookey muscled his way into Takeley’s box but dragged his shot wide. Takeley then went up the other end and doubled their lead in the 37th minute as a cross was headed back across goal by Green to Mullings who blasted the ball past Hunt. It was the start of what would be a perfect debut for Mullings.
A minute after extended their lead, the hosts then extended it even further as Das was played in and he placed his shot into the bottom left hand corner. Das was then set up by Mullings but this time Hunt stopped his shot. But Hunt was powerless to prevent Barkingside going in trailing even further then the three goals as Mullings reached a ball with his back to goal. After some extravagant juggling from foot-to-foot, he then turned and chipped Hunt to score his second and Takeley’s fourth of the afternoon.
If Barkingside thought that Takeley were going to take the foot of the peddle in the second half then they were very much mistaken. Mullings had a chance in the opening seconds that was blocked by Best Toke and the resulting corner saw Das hit a shot that was cleared off the line. Hunt then had to use his legs to block a Green shot. Finally the fifth goal came in the 53rd minute when Das burst into the Barkingside box and set up Mullings who completed his hat-trick by firing beyond Hunt.
Barkingside were shell shocked and were rarely venturing inside the Takeley half. The hosts however were still pressing forward and had another shot blocked on the line, this time Martin being the player that was thwarted. Gill powered a shot over and Jason Todd went close with a header. In the 67th minute it became 6-0 when Barkingside lost the ball cheaply and it fell to Mullings who made it a dream Takeley debut as he rifled home his fourth goal of the game.
Takeley’s attacking fervour was not done and dusted either as they continued to press. George Wappett came off the subs bench and he played in fellow substitute Reece Barrett whose shot was blocked by Hunt. Gill had a glancing header hooked away by Toke and Wappert then went close with a long-range shot that only just missed the target. However Barrett closed the show in the 86th minute when he latched onto a through ball, slotted it past Hunt and added some gloss to a fantastic Takeley performance.
Takeley: Ronnie Yates, Bryn Thorpe, Andre Humphries, Alex Martin, Matt Gill, Nick Barrett, Mitchell Das (Reece Barrett 60’), Matt Hurley (George Wappett 60’), Carl Mullings, Jason Todd, William Green (Freddie Burrell 55’).
Scorers – Matt Gill (26’), Mitchell Das (38’), Carl Mullings (37’, 42’, 53’, 67’), Reece Barrett (86’)
Barkingside: Will Hunt, Euan Taylor-Reid, Brad Gayer (Oscar Lyke-Williams 65’), Bradley Joseph, Best Toke, Ricardo Bailey (Rayjan Moore 46’), Akil Clarke (Kyron Thomas 46’), Jayden Mitchell-Brown, Michael Ogboin, Tony Cookey, Michael Sherwood.
Report by Scott Lanza