Eastern Senior League – South Division
2021-22 Season: Match 36
Monday 25th October 2021 – 7.45pm KO
Barkingside: Sky Blue Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts, Navy Blue Socks
Buckhurst H: White Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks
Buckhurst achieve comfortable win over ‘Side at Cricklefield
Barkingside 1 – 6 Buckhurst Hill
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
The midweek match in late October was this fascinating encounter at Cricklefield between two sides in contrasting form as Barkingside welcomed local rivals Buckhurst Hill in Eastern Senior League South. ‘Side were looking to swiftly recover from a heavy weekend loss at Halstead whilst Buckhurst were still buzzing after their progression in the FA Vase after victory at Great Yarmouth. One other bit of news for the hosts saw First-team boss Francesco Zabotti depart for EOFL Premier side Springfield last week, which saw GM Steven Le Sage back in charge for Barkingside here. They named Lubomir Georgiev in goal, with right-back Jordan Cornelius skippering the team. David Etcheri and Patrick Hoy were the centre midfield pair, alongside Reece Simpson and Quincy Warner in attack. Options from the sidelines included defender Berkcan Belindir and forward Joe Gent. Buckhurst rotated their squad somewhat following that aforementioned Vase win but still had Daniel Blockley between the sticks, with a defence of Liam Foster, Edward Buchanan, Alfie Harris and Max Nicholson. Suleyman Zuhdu retained his place and captained the side, with Sonny Shilling and Tyler Dolan joining him in an enterprising forward line. Their bench included forwards Nathan Sollosi, Fehinti Falola and Brad Rowland.
As the match began in earnest, it was the hosts who had the first sight of goal on two minutes as forward Reece Simpson showed his intent, firing a good strike wide of the right-side post from twenty-five yards. It was a cagey start to the game, with little in the way of clear-cut openings and to their credit, ‘Side defended quite well and that was shown by good clearances by centre-back Jason Jones and right-back Jordan Cornelius. However, the first big point of the game happened on 21 minutes as Buckhurst forward Tyler Dolan was fouled in the area, which resulted in the penalty being converted low into the right corner by Dolan himself to give the visitors the lead. Barkingside responded on the counter-attack, with Reece Simpson being played in unselfishly and his firm effort on goal was well denied by visiting stopper Dan Blockley.
Steven Le Sage’s side were having their best period of the match at this juncture, and just before the half-hour, Jones was unfortunate to have a powerful header at goal cleared off the goalline by a well-placed covering Buckhurst defender. This seemed to galvanise the visitors snd they respoonded with a second goal just after the half-hour. A neat passing move ended with a controlled finish by attacking midfielder Jake Moss who did well to beat stranded ‘keeper Lubomir Georgiev. So, with the Stags two goals to the good, they were in a decent position. However, ‘Side responded all of thirty seconds later as Simpson really nailed a powerful strike from 25 yards which Blockley got a glove on but it still sailed high into the net. You could argue that ‘Side deserved that goal, but it was also apparent that Buckhurst could still raise their game further before the evening was done.
A glimmer of this was shown by another rapid run by forward Suleyman Zuhdu who made a good break down the left channel, cut inside and saw a good effort well parried by Georgiev. With half-time approaching, Barkingside tried fo force a leveller but Simpson’s tame effort dribbled wide of the left-side post, almost demanding that a team-mate would run in and grab a tap-in but it wasn’t to be.
Half-Time: Barkingside 1 – 2 Buckhurst Hill
So, as the players emerged for the second half it was fair to say that ‘Side were in the game and that Buckhurst had ‘more gears to find’ in attack. Unfortunately for the hosts, they did find that rhythm after the break. Eight minutes after the restart, a free-kick from just outside the eighteen-yard area on the angle found the top left corner, courtesy of a great strike by full-back Edward Buchanan. Mark Williams’ side were building their attacking ryhthm now and on the hour, forward Sonny Shilling’s lob somehow cannoned back off a post with the majority of the goal to aim at, and seconds later Zuhdu’s fine strike was well clawed away by the impressive Georgiev. Barkingside were in danger of being overrun at this point and Georgiev was in action again moments afterward, denying Zuhdu again with a fine one-handed save low on the ground.
Hill did get a fourth goal with fifteen minutes left as from a set-piece, full-back Liam Foster’s low finish found the net in a congested penalty area. The hosts couldn’t keep the ball for the long enough as Buckhurst poured forward with wave after wave of forward presses. Substitute Brad Rowland shot was denied by Georgiev as we entered the last ten minutes, though the Stags rounded off a fine evening’s work with replacement Fehinti Falola lobbing Georgiev well and in added-time, Rowland’s fierce strike got a hefty deflection off a defender which wrong-footed the goalkeeper.
Full-Time: Barkingside 1 – 6 Buckhurst Hill
In summary, Barkingside did well to compete in the first half and could have made things level at the interval, but ultimately they were unable to stifle a Buckhurst side who continue to impress with their goal-scoring and their pace going forward. Buckhurst deserved to win the game as they continue their quest to fortify their position in the top six.
In terms of stand-out performances, visitors Buckhurst Hill had midfielder Jake Moss to thank for scoring a good goal in a key period of the match. He also played his part in building up forward moves, as did full-back Liam Foster who took his goal well and continues to have a good season thus far. Centre-back Alfie Harris also made a number of important interceptions, while forward Suleyman Zuhdu also had a good gamewith his pace and movement and could’ve had at least two goals here if it wasn’t for good goalkeeping.
On that note, Goalkeeper Lubomir Georgiev had an excellent game for Barkingside, making at least five notable saves to keep his side in the contest. Jason Jones did well at centre-back in making several clearing headers, and support forward Quincy Warner put in a good shift making the visiting defence concentrate with neat passes and good darting runs. Lastly, Reece Simpson took his goal very well and could have added to his goal tally on another day.
My thanks to the hosts for their hospitality & best wishes to both sides for the remainder of the season.
Barkingside | Manager: Steven Le Sage |
Starting XI (Subs) : 1 Lubomir Georgiev (GK), 2 Jordan Cornelius (Capt), 3 Shaquel Foyewa (16 Berkcan Belindir 72′), 5 Nathan Saunders, 6 Jason Jones, 14 Patrick Hoy, 7 David Etcheri, 8 Quincy Warner, 9 Reece Simpson, 10 Archie Hammond (18 Grant Frances 83′), 11 Osas Omuru (17 Joe Gent 58′)
Goal-scorer: Reece Simpson [32′]
Booked: Etcheri, Jones | Sub Not Used: Scott, Thompson
Buckhurst Hill | Manager: Mark Williams | Assistant: JP Kent
Starting XI (Subs): 1 Daniel Blockley (GK), 2 Liam Foster, 3 Edward Buchanan, 4 Alfie Harris, 5 Max Nicholson, 7 Jack Griggs, 8 Josh Banfield, 16 Jake Moss (21 Fehinti Falola 67′), 14 Sonny Shilling, 10 Suleyman Zuhdu (20 Harry Markatis 75′), 15 Tyler Dolan (22 Brad Rowland 46′)
Goal-scorers: Tyler Dolan [pen 21′], Jake Moss [32′], Edward Buchanan [53′], Liam Foster [74′], Fehinti Falola [83′], OG [90’+2]
Sin-Bin: Shilling [44′] | Booked: Nicholson | Subs Not Used: Jiro, N Sollosi
Referee: Tommy Breen
Assistants: Alan Steward & Craig Wood