1st Team - Report
Frustrating Draw Against Mead
Thamesmead ripped up the form book as Redbridge dropped down to seventh in the league table after a frustrating draw for the Motormen at the Oakside.
Still though the Motormen would have liked to have won the game but a mixture of bad luck and some good fighting spirit from Thamesmead ensured that on the day a point was the best they could settle for.
Thamesmead surprisingly started the game well and after Shane Wyllie scuffed a shot wide inside the first minute went close when Theo Fairbrother-Johnson forced Joe Wright into a save at his near post after three minutes.
Michael Toner was working hard in midfield and blazed an ambitious shot from 30 yards over the bar after 20 minutes before Thamesmead came agonisingly close to taking the lead on the half-hour mark.
Good work by Fairbrother-Johnson enabled the winger to get past Matt Turpin on the right. His cross found Joseph Afusi inside the area via an interception from William Sendall but somehow the forward’s shot from 10 yards hit the post.
It was a chance that should have been taken and after that Redbridge bossed the reaminder of the half as Joe Gardner found the net after good work by James Robinson only to be ruled out for offside.
Robinson was impressing and a moment of vision, a cross from the right-flank almost put Redbridge in the lead on 42 minutes but Toner running in the box at full-pelt couldn’t quite make contact with the ball to head in at the far post.
That chance didn’t matter though as a minute before half-time, Redbridge took the lead with Wyllie grabbing his third of the season poking home inside the area after Gardner had intelligently found space in the box after a mazy run.
It was a moment of magic from Gardner who despite being a useful striker has looked comfortable this season in midfield, on the wing and at left-back and he is growing into the kind of player every team needs.
Thamesmead started the second-half well forcing Joe Wright into a save two minutes into the half. Slack play at the back from the hosts allowed James Donovan time and freedom to head home an equaliser after 54 minutes.
Redbridge didn’t let their heads down and should have taken the lead shortly after but Jamie Haywood somehow - despite being a yard out - failed to head home a James Robinson cross after the striker had latched onto a Vincent Durrant cross.
It was very unfortunate on Haywood who despite being unmarked couldn’t quite tilt his head back enough to head the ball home. Soon after that Robinson scooped over from 15 yards out after more good work by Durrant.
Thamesmead were looking good on the break and shortly an unsuccessful penalty shout when Lewis Dark tripped an attacker inside the area, the visitors blew their best chance of going home with the three points.
With 15 minutes left, Afusi ran through on goal. Thamesmead’s no. 9 nudged the ball past Joe Wright and despite being fouled whilst going round the keeper the forward could only shoot the ball into the side-netting under pressure from Sendall.
After that it was all Redbridge who upped the tempo in the closing stages of the game with Lewis Dark firing a screamer from 30 yards over the bar before Gardner hit a tough chance against the bar in a crowded area.
Ryan Murray, Daniel Hopkins and Mitchell Das were brought on and all three of the subs made an impression with Redbridge’s last chance falling to Das who saw a shot deflected wide moments before the full-time whistle sounded.
Redbridge: Joe Wright, William Sendall, Matt Turpin (Daniel Hopkins 53), Jamie Haywood, Glen Golby, Michael Toner, Joe Gardner, Lewis Dark, Shane Wyllie (Mitchell Das 84), James Robinson (Ryan Murray 76), Vincent Durrant.
Click here for Adam D's interview with our manager Terry Spillane from after the game.
Click here for Adam D's interview with Uniting Friends member Dean Foweraker from after the game.