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No fairytale finish for Barkingside

Barkingside captain Dan Callaway (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO) Barkingside captain Dan Callaway (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Luke Robertson at Oakside
Sunday, April 27, 2014
8:41 AM

Ryman Div 1N: Barkingside 1 Sudbury 4

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Sudbury were in no mood to hand Barkingside victory in their final game at Oakside Stadium.

The visitors were without several regular starters and fielded a side for the future, but still came out on top in the Ryman One North clash as Barkingside bid farewell to their long-time home.

Sudbury were lively from the start and nearly capitalised on an error from goalkeeper Tim Pitman, only for Dan Hayes to come across and make a last-ditch tackle and deny striker Jamie Forshaw.

But Barkingside wanted to get an early lead and in the sixth minute they nearly had just that when a well worked short corner fell to Dan Callaway, whose header was cleared off the line.

The visitors were still the much more threatening and substitute James Akintunde nearly humiliated Pitman with a chip, but the keeper recovered well to pick up on the goal line.

Sudbury’s dominance soon paid dividends, though, when a corner from the right side was attacked by striker Ollie Hughes who headed it into the top right corner.

Barkingside were desperate to get in at half time within touching distance and looking likely to do so until Calvin Poku missed a clearance, allowing Hughes to run into the area and roll past Pitman for 2-0.

Despite the poor end to the opening period the home side came out attacking after the restart and should have pulled a goal back on 58 minutes.

A nice break down the left hand side led to a cross being teased to the back post and striker Lewis Francis planted his head on the ball from close range, but only found the side netting.

Minutes later Francis was made to pay when a Sudbury attack down the right side led to Ryan Horne being tripped inside the area. As the whole defence stopped for a split second, expecting a penalty to be given, Payton Swatman pounced to lash the ball in from close range.

Barkingside made substitutions and looked much more lively as Chris Taylor hit a pile driver from the edge of the area and forced a good save from Alex Archer.

Yet Sudbury were soaking up the pressure really well and the high Barkingside line was exposed by a killer through pass to Jordan Blackwell who ran from the half way line to slot past the Pitman for number four.

Barkingside were not to be deterred from their mission to score at Oakside one last time and a series of chances, including a header from Joe Ellul, led to them getting that consolation.

After a scrappy sequence of play, the ball fell to Taylor to hit a shot from the edge of the box which rolled past Archer and into the corner of the net to give the Barkingside supporters one final moment to cheer before their move to Ilford for the 2014/15 season.

Barkingside: Pitman, Hayes, Rolls, Ellul, Callaway, Suchley, Edmunds (Waldron 70), Carvell, Francis (Taylor 70), Gulfer (Onireti 75), Poku.

***

Heybridge 6 Redbridge 1

Motormen were hit for six by high-flying Swifts in their final outing of the season at Scraley Road.

The hosts opened the scoring through Chris Bryan’s cheeky chip after only seven minutes, but Daniel Francis hit back four minutes later to level with his 11th goal of the season.

Jamie Guy restored Heybridge’s lead on the quarter-hour mark, though, as he headed home from Bryan’s cross and Ben Newson made it 3-1 midway through the second half, after Redbridge had penalty appeals for a challenge on Francis waved away.

Newson netted a fourth for the home side on 78 minutes after lifting the ball over Dean Driscoll, and Danny Barber got in on the act with number five, sending his free kick in off a post.

Newson completed his hat-trick in the last minute as Heybridge ended the campaign in third place to earn a home play-off semi-final against Harlow, while Motormen had to settle for 14th place and 59 points after four successive defeats to complete their schedule.

But given their fight against relegation a year earlier, it marked a notable improvement under joint bosses Dave Ross and Ricky Eaton.

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