Essex Senior League: Barkingside 1 Sawbridgeworth Town 1
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
Barkingside banked a late, late point thanks to substitute Gareth Jones at Cricklefield Stadium.
Michael Walther’s men went into the match on a three-game losing run, following their FA Vase exit at the hands of Whitton United six days earlier.
And the home side handed debuts to new recruits Bradley Gayer and Kadeem Brightly, with Josh Coulson on the bench.
The Robins began well, holding the edge in possession, but needed Matt Ponter to be on his toes to deny Tony Cookey on seven minutes.
Lewis Francis fired wide against his former club a minute later and Aaron Lesta had a let-off when his missed header looked to have left Francis through on goalkeeper Will Hunt, when an offisde flag was raised.
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Sawbridgeworth’s Billy Skinner fired wide on the half-hour mark, but made no mistake when presented with another chance as he headed past Hunt.
Barkingside went close early in the second half when Euan Taylor-Reid’s long throw-in caused Ponter some concern, but Francis fired a well-struck shot off the crossbar from inside the box.
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Substitute Michael Sherwood forced a save from Ponter on 56 minutes and the visiting keeper also denied Taylor-Reid’s header from a Jason Fontaine free-kick.
The visitors should have made sure of the points when Joe Wright’s cross found Aaron Thomas, who lifted the ball over from close range.
And when Fontaine’s shot was parried by Ponter and Sherwood saw his follow-up blocked by Josh Knight it looked like the game was up for Barkingside.
But they got back on level terms in the first minute of stoppage time when Jones fired past Ponter and will hope for better when they host Hackney Wick on Monday.
Barkingside: Hunt, Lesta (Coulson 46), Fontaine, Mitchell-Brown, Ogboin (Jones 70), Santos, Brightly (Sherwood 54), Cookey, Duyile, Gayer, Taylor-Reid.