On a pleasant Sunday afternoon, Essex Senior League side Barkingside welcomed Thurlow Nunn Premier side Stowmarket Town to Cricklefield on the final day of this season’s FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round ties.
The hosts had what proved to be one of their best chances with only two minutes on the clock as forward Michael Ogboin was one-on-one with Stowmarket ‘keeper Craig Brand though his strike was just over the bar.
The visitors soon responded. In the following twenty minutes, Town had numerous chances to open their account though efforts on goal from midfielder Jack Baker, winger Dan Cunningham and forwards Andrew Wood & George Bugg were all well-saved by the over-worked home goalkeeper Will Hunt.
Stowmarket did eventually take the lead seven minutes from the break, as the impressive full-back Ethan Clarke fizzed across a left-wing cross which was met by Wood, who slotted home past Hunt into the left corner. The visitors pushed for a second goal though Barkingside managed to keep the arrears to one at the break.
Half-Time: Barkingside 0 - 1 Stowmarket Town
The second half began in a similarly frenetic way, with Stowmarket forward Wood having another strike on goal saved by Hunt. The hosts then had a chance to level though forward Jerome Martelli blazed over the bar after being played in by Ogboin.
Town spurned two more chances as the hour mark approached, though on 61 minutes they extended their lead as Bugg prodded home from a corner.
‘Side had one of their more decent spells in the match just after that goal though Ex-Southend Manor & Clapton winger Aundre Spencer’s shot went side of the right-side post whilst in a good position. Stowmarket did recover and pushed hard though in the last 15 minutes.
The home side had a warning with twelve minutes left as they were indebted to a combination of their defence and Hunt as they cleared off the goal-line. Town did eventually wrap up the win though in the last six minutes as first, Ethan Clarke scored with a good deep looping header into the right corner, after being fed by a good ball in by full-back Ollie Brown. Wood then grabbed his second from the spot, blasted into the top-right corner.
Full-Time: Barkingside 0 - 4 Stowmarket Town
Wood 38’, 87 (pen)’ Bugg 61’, E Clarke 84’
To be fair, Stowmarket more than deserved the win and played very well, they were good on-the-ball & were a hard-working outfit.
As for Barkingside, it’s hard not to mention that this is a virtually new squad so it will take time for consistency to come, though today they didn’t really have the ball enough to create the chances that the likes of Ogboin would make the most of. I must also mention goalkeeper Will Hunt, who made numerous saves to keep his side in the match at times.
Best wishes to Stowmarket who host Romford in the next round. Commiserations to Barkingside, who will now focus elsewhere, starting with a home ESL match against Stansted on Saturday (12th August).
'Side: Will Hunt, Michael Bottone, Michael Sherwood, Euan Taylor-Reid, Paul Shave, Jamie Pooley (Reece Hewitt), Aundre Spencer, Bradley Joseph, Michael Ogboin (Jason Fontaine), Jerome Martelli (Mattheus Santos), Joe Newbold
Subs Not Used: Mendez Gomez, Eamon Payne, Tony Cookey, Jayden Mitchell-Brown