Essex Senior League
2018-19 Season – Match 56
Saturday 2nd March 2019 – 3pm KO
Ilford: Blue & White Hooped Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue & White Socks
Barkingside: Sky Blue Shirts, Sky Blue Shorts, Sky Blue Socks
Ilford break ‘Side hearts with late winner in Cricklefield derby
Report & Photos by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)
This weekend’s match was a crucial one for bottom team Barkingside as they entered the fray of another Cricklefield derby with mid-table Ilford. Alex Goldstone’s men had lost their last three league matches and had apparently struggled to create chances at times during that run. That certainly wasn’t the case here. Ilford have had a ‘mixed bag’ of late with victories hard to come by. Martin Haywood was missing a few of his key men including Jamal Djotsi and the suspended Yemi Adelani, which meant target-man Lauric Diakiesse led the line with support from livewire winger Musa Manneh and Connor Kain, with Lamarr Douglas skippering the side. Barkingside were also somewhat depleted with Isaac Marfo, Edward Lang, Max Bolton and Jamie Marsh all unavailable. Captain Harry Matthews reverted to centre-back, alongside Frederico Hernandez and Derek O’Halem and named a front three of Mario Gjini, David Hornsby and recent signing Craig Jeakins with another new signing in James Ross on the bench.
The match had barely begun when the Foxes handed ‘Side a ‘gift-wrapped’ opener. ‘Keeper Hugo Rossetti made a rare blemish of this magnitude as a goal-kick went straight to ‘Side forward Craig Jeakins about 15 yards out and he made no mistake in evading the attentions of a Ilf defender before slotting home calmly with a minute played. Unsurprisingly, this buoyed the ‘visitors’ as they showed that they were fired-up, even though after a good pass by midfielder Dan Jones, forward David Hornsby scuffed a shot harmlessly wide.
Ilford struggled for fluency in the early-going, with what few forays forward they had mostly heading the way of winger Musa Manneh who was a threat with his pace and trickery down the left flank. ‘Side defender Derek O’Halem still had to make two telling interceptions though to prevent clear chances on Ryan Karrer’s goal. Just past the half-hour, a rare Foxes corner was headed over at the back stick by centre-back Billy Golledge. ‘Side responded and you can only sum it up by saying they were wasteful in terms of the chances they created. Forward Mario Gjini was a willing runner all match though first his cross from the left of the penalty box lead to Hornsby mis-kicking his effort wide before Gjini himself was 12 yards out and his powerful strike cannoned back off the crossbar. Six minutes before the break, Gjini prodded a lofting drive over from eight yards.
Moments before the half-time whistle, Foxes full-back Emmanuel Dasho sent a pass in to midfielder Lamarr Douglas whose effort from the edge of the area was too tame to beat Karrer.
Half-Time: Ilford 0 – 1 Barkingside
Barkingside had produced a committed display in that first period, but were hamstrung by their wayward finishing.To their credit, Ilf gradually found their feet and battled defensively. Four minutes after the break, Douglas was barely off the left-side touchline before sending in a stinging curler which may have been heading wide of the top-right corner though Karrer was savvy to parry it wide to be safe. Just prior to the hour mark, Jeakins was denied from a set-piece by Rossetti tipping his effort wide before full-back George Woodward headed wide from the resulting corner. The hosts had a further setback when boss Haywood was given his marching orders on 62 minutes though the drama hardly ended there.
Midway through the half, Ilford levelled through a well-taken strike by Golledge, hitting the top corner from about 14 yards. Ilford were suddenly back on terms and keen to battle on while the ‘Side players had the ‘wind knocked out of their sails’. The tension continued to increase with the game having a bit of a lull. With about 15 minutes to play, substitute James Ross had a toe-poke parried by a crucial one-handed save by Rossetti before being cleared off the line well. The luckless Gjini also struck the woodwork again when well-placed before Rossetti gathered well to snuff out the danger and you wondered if it just wasn’t ‘Side’s day.
Unfortunately for the strugglers, it got worse with six minutes to play. A Douglas free-kick was turned home by ‘Side defender Matthews whose looping header wrong-footed Karrer and into the net. To be fair to Ilford, they kept their heads and saw the game out to collect a victory that earlier in the match they scarcely looked like getting, to be blunt. Not that they will fuss about that.
Full-Time: Ilford 2 – 1 Barkingside
Barkingside had enough chances to win two or three matches here though their poor finishing hurt them. They also showed where they are vulnerable as well as they paid a high price for defensive errors. You could argue that Ilford made the most of their decent periods in the game though sometimes score-lines don’t always reflect how the match goes.
Either way, congratulations to Ilford in their victory as they seek to remain in the hunt for a top-ten finish. Best wishes to ‘Side for the rest of their relegation battle this term. My thanks as well to Ilford for their hospitality.
Ilford | Manager: Martin Haywood
Hugo Rossetti (GK), Emmanuel Dasho, Alejandro Seoane-Barber, Steve Sylvester, Billy Golledge, Luke Casey, Lion Docaj (Ryan O’Connell 60′), Lamarr Douglas (Capt), Lauric Diakiesse (Jerold Cobbiah 76′), Connor Kain, Musa Manneh
Goal-scorers: Billy Golledge [66′], Harry Matthews [OG 84′]
Booked: Douglas, Golledge | Subs Not Used: MnCube, Mahoney
Barkingside | Manager: Alex Goldstone
Ryan Karrer (GK), Harry Matthews (Capt), George Woodward, Derek O’Halem, Frederico Hernandez, Joe Thomas, Dan Jones (Connor Goldstone 80′), Joe Oates, Craig Jeakins, Mario Gjini, David Hornsby (James Ross 63′)
Goal-scorer: Craig Jeakins [1′]
Booked: Oates, Jeakins, O’Halem | Subs Not Used: None