Barkingside left on the brink
PUBLISHED: 08:30 03 April 2016
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Ryman North: Aveley 1 Barkingside 0
Barkingside are on the verge of relegation from the Ryman North after a narrow defeat at mid-table Aveley left them 10 points from safety with four games to play.
‘Side had earned a valuable point at play-off chasing Thamesmead Town on Good Friday thanks to Michael Ademiluyi’s strike, and were therefore hopeful of victory at Mill Field.
However the last time the two teams met, Aveley had outclassed them to win 5-0 courtesy of a hat-trick from captain and top scorer, Liam Nash.
The striker looked keen to do more damage early on in the return and found himself clean through, but goalkeeper Tyler McCarthy did well to push him wide and the cross came to nothing.
Slowly the away side found their feet with Jonathan Adebayo firing their first shot high and wide of the target.
Then midway through the half ‘Side created their best chance so far with Tyronne Scarlett flicking on a corner and finding Alfie Wren unchallenged, but his header smacked against the post and the Millers cleared the danger.
Gus Gulfer’s men continued to dominate with Scarlett’s crossfield ball finding Jimmy Shepherd who headed it onto Michael Spencer, but his shot was blocked.
Aveley finished the first half the stronger of the two sides as Jack Edwards’ chipped ball was poked towards goal by Nash, but saved well by McCarthy.
The home side continued where they left off as substitute Reece Conway powered past Wren and his low cross found Nash in acres of space on the edge of the six-yard area, but somehow he fired over the bar.
‘Side then missed a gilt-edged chance themselves as Millers goalkeeper James Marrable miscontrolled a back pass allowing Spencer to pinch the ball and pull it back for Scarlett, but he mis-hit the shot and it was scrambled clear.
After an exciting start to the second half, the game became scrappy with neither side able to keep the ball for any length of time.
Then in the 77th minute the Millers found the winner as yet again a long ball over the top caused chaos, with the Barkingside defenders failing to read the bounce, allowing David Fallah to sprint through and coolly slot the ball into the bottom right corner.
They were nearly 2-0 down just minutes later with a mazy run from Fallah ending in a good save from McCarthy, but substitute Dapo Abitogun nearly capitalised on a long throw in, only for his shot on the turn to be deflected over.
Fallah though continued to cause problems at the other end and his through ball for Nash was just over hit and McCarthy did enough to make the Millers top scorer fire wide.
‘Side went to three at the back in the late stages, pressing for an equaliser, but in the end they were thankful to McCarthy for keeping it at 1-0, as he saved from Conway in added time.
Manager Gus Gulfer was left “frustrated” at full time believing his men should have picked up three points.
He said: “Some of my players weren’t at the races today and we had enough chances to win this match, but in the end we were done by a sucker punch.”
Barkingside: McCarthy, Greenslade, Wright, Smith, Wren, Foxley (Kimmence 90), Lutaaya, Adebayo, Shepherd, Scarlett (Abitogun 75), Spencer. Unused subs: Wilson, With, Mills.