Redbridge 2 Great Wakering Rovers 7
Tuesday 6th February
Two sides contending for the league title met at the Oakside on a cold Tuesday evening with the home side looking for a 14th consecutive victory, while Rovers were searching for a win to keep their hand in the promotion issue.
Redbridge went straight on the attack through Brian Moses who crossed into the path of Eljay Worrell who missed the ball when in a good position.
Great Wakering then went up the other end and scored through their first attack; Nathan Dewbury picked up the ball from a wide position looked up and his cross-come- shot flew over the head of Lewis Greene into the corner of the net.
The Motormen ‘s heads certainly never dropped and they had a good chance soon after when Louis Hawes came rushing out his goal only to kick straight into the path of Reside Coxi-Sebastfoa, who tried to find the back of the net from distance but lacked the finesse and his attempt was cleared.
Ex Redbridge midfielder Stephen Butterworth was causing problems for the home defence and he floated in at the far post only to see his effort flash wide of a post.
The home side got themselves back on level terms after 21 minutes when Coxi Sebastfao’s initial shot was blocked before falling into the path of Worrell who fired home.
Greene then slipped as he went to kick up field resulting in the ball falling to Chris Bryan who ran down on goal before passing to Dewbury was challenged by Vinny Murphy. The referee deemed it a foul and had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and up stepped Butterworth to fire home the penalty and restore the away side’s lead.
As the half went on it was Wakering who looked most likely to get the next goal, which Samuel Carter almost grabbed as his diving header was just wide. At the other end Moses played in Jacob Dingli who was thwarted by the feet of Hawes who was quickly off his line.
The second half began with a chance for Butterworth but his effort was well saved by Greene before a Worrell long range effort flew wide. Great Wakering then turned up the pressure and what came next was certainly a shock for the Motormen.
A ball was crossed in from the left by Dewbury finding the feet of Billy Johnson , who beat Jonathon Mbamarah to the ball and poked home from close range to increase the lead . At that point it started to look like Redbridge’s long winning run was soon coming to an end.
Within 8 minutes things had gone from bad to worse as a Bryan free kick was headed down across the goal to an unmarked Butterworth who was left all alone at the far post to simply tap into an empty net. This was now a situation Redbridge had not found themselves in this season and they were visibly shocked by the events which were unfolding in front of them.
Only Greene’s save denied Butterworth in scoring his hat-trick as the away side were now in total control. Redbridge brought on Calvin Poku and Joshua Hutchinson from the bench in attempt to salvage something from a match which was slowly slipping away.
The gap then grew larger as Dewbury was given far too much time and space and was allowed to waltz past three challenges before calmly firing into the corner of the net.
Redbridge had a rare reprieve and attacked through Thomas Gogo who drifted into the box before being brought to the ground by Scott Pethers and for the second time this evening the man in the middle awarded a spot kick.
Up stepped Moses who saw his effort saved but Dingli reacted quickest to tap in the rebound to reduce the arrears.
However within minutes Wakering substitute Jay Nash picked up the ball cut inside a defender and steered his shot into the corner of the goal and it was not finished there as on 89 minutes the same player ran at goal before unleashing a superb effort leaving Greene clasping at thin air to make it 7-2.
With many in the ground now losing count of the score the final whistle eventually blew on a thoroughly dominant performance from the away side who had ended Redbridge’s long unbeaten run in some style.
It will now be a true character for Redbridge who host 3rd placed Basildon United on Saturday before the reverse league fixture against Great Wakering Rovers a week later. This result makes the title race even more intriguing.
Redbridge: Lewis Greene, Courtney Homans, Billy Golledge (Calvin Poku 59’), Remi Nelson (Joshua Hutchinson 59’), Vinny Murphy (Liam Thomas 46’), Jonathon Mbamarah, Thomas Gogo, Eljay Worrell (Capt), Jacob Dingli, Brian Moses, Reside Coxi-Sebastfao.
Scorers – Eljay Worrell (21’), Jacob Dingli (82’)
Great Wakering Rovers: Louis Hawes, Jason Ring, Oliver Woodhouse (Kia Froud 81’), Scott Pethers (Capt), Ryan Doyle (Danny Hurford 15’), Samuel Carter, Billy Johnson, Ricky Evans, Nathan Dewberry (Jay Nash 70’), Chris Bryan, Stephen Butterworth.
Scorers – Nathan Dewberry (3’, 69’), Stephen Butterworth (32’p, 63’), Billy Johnson (56’), Jay Nash (84’, 89’)
Report by Adam Silver / Photo by Philip Lindhurst