Spencer ends Barkingside’s long wait for win
PUBLISHED: 21:13 20 February 2016 | UPDATED: 21:13 20 February 2016
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Ryman North: Barkingside 3 Witham Town 2
Barkingside earned their first league win since late October at a wet and windy Cricklefieds to climb off the bottom of the Ryman North table.
Michael Spencer’s goal two minutes from time earned all three points for Gursel Gulfer’s men as they came from behind to beat Witham and end a 17-match winless run in the league to send neighbours Redbridge into last place.
The home side had the majority of possession in the opening minutes, as each attack looked more threatening than the last.
Calvin Poku had two early chances, one of which was flagged for offside after he had put the ball in the net, but the striker who looked like the main goal threat for Side was then replaced due to injury.
Barkingside broke the deadlock with just over half an hour gone thanks to Luke With’s header after a perfectly timed cross from Paul Wright.
But just as the home side looked to play out the first half comfortably, a very late tackle by one of their defenders sent a Witham striker sliding across the box and the visitors were awarded a penalty.
After being ordered to retake the spot-kick, Nathan Koranteng slotted home just out of the reach of Side keeper Darren Bechcet to bring the first half to an end.
At the beginning of the second half, Witham were doing all of the attacking and with the wind in their favour, they looked the most likely to score.
And they took the lead when winger Sam Kemp beat Barkingside full-back Jordan Wilson with ease and provided a good ball into the box for Stuart Zanone to head into the net.
As the game reached the hour mark the pitch was becoming almost unplayable, with all of the players struggling to keep their footing and the ball not rolling or bouncing well.
And conditions played a part as Barkingside drew level on 66 minutes as Witham keeper Lewis Down rushed out of his box to clear the ball, but it ran short and he slipped in the process which allowed Spencer to pass the ball into an empty net and make it 2-2.
The decisive goal came with normal time almost up as Spencer latched on to the end of a cross in the six-yard box, volleying home to claim victory to the delight of the Barkingside dugout and the home supporters.
Barkingside, having moved two points clear of Redbridge, will now look to keep their hopes of avoiding relegation alive they travel to Tilbury next weekend.
Barkingside: Behcet, J Wilson, Wright, Shepherd, Smith, Wren, Spencer, Adebayo, With, Ademiliu, Poku. Subs: Ellul, Amaoko, Foxley, Nicholl-Wilson, Birch.
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