BARKINGSIDE FC vs CRAY WANDERERS
Ryman League Division One North: Game 21
Cray Wanderers 1
Hamici 36 (p)
Cray recovered from going an early goal behind to claim a merited draw on a cold afternoon at Ilford.
Cray made two changes to the starting lineup from Tuesday’s London Cup tie with Marlon Patterson and new signing Tyrone Berry coming in for Dmitri Larin and Kery Kedze.
The game was played on a very difficult pitch and the game was never going to be a classic. Barkingside settled better in the opening exchanges and Matt Gulfer dragged a shot wide.
A minute later Barkingside went ahead when Steve Carvell’s through ball found Calvin Poku who ran on and struck a fine finish wide of Darren Behcet.
Cray showed for the first time when Adrian Stone hit a half volley over the crossbar. Laurent Hamici tested home keeper Chris Clark with a shot on goal which was claimed at the second attempt and then hit another shot on goal from a tight angle.
Poku should really have put Barkingside further ahead but from Carvell’s cross he planted a weak header straight at Behcet. Clark then did well to smother an attempt from Hamici as the game picked up pace.
The Wands got back into the game on 36 minutes when they awarded a penalty after Michael Phillips was clipped perhaps just inside the penalty area by Joe Ellul. Hamici hit a well struck penalty to level the scores.
Half Time: 1-1
The Wands were forced into a change at half time as Stone was replaced by Ben Hunt. Barkingside dominated the opening 20 minutes of the second half and Cray were indebted to a good save from Behcet as Gulfer struck a fine shot from 20 yards which was tipped onto the angle of post and crossbar and the rebound was cleared. Joe Bricknell then shot over the crossbar.
The lively Poku came close to scoring twice but each time shot wide of the goal when well placed. Carvell then shot wide from the edge of the penalty area.
Cray weathered this pressure and defended particularly well in the last twenty minutes and Cray looked to try and find a winner in the remainder of the game. Chances were very few though for Cray with Kedze’s dipping ball into the box which was tipped over by Clark who then was quick to rush out at the feet of Cesc Fakinos.
Cesc was unlucky not to score himself when he picked the ball up from a corner and he sent a shot just wide of the post.
The last chance of the game fell to Barkingside when Andy Edmunds linked up with Lewis Francis who shot wide but in the end Cray were content for a point on a tricky pitch and can now prepare for three successive home games from next Sunday.
Cray: Darren Behcet, Cesc Fakinos, Marlon Patterson, Max Fitzgerald, CJ Williams, Michael Phillips, Hussein Isa (Kery Kedze, 70), Ian Daly (Dmitri Larin, 76), Adrian Stone (Ben Hunt, H/T), Laurent Hamici, Tyrone Berry
Subs: Gary Beckett, Steve Springett
Booked: Phillips, Berry
Barkingside: Chris Clark, Danny Hayes, Josh Akapa, Joe Ellul (Andy Edmunds, 87), Matt Waldren, Dan Cossington, Dion Polius, Joe Bricknell, Steve Carvell (Lewis Francis, 69), Matt Gulfer, Calvin Poku: Subs: Tom Davie, Rigers Kabashi, Tim Pitman
Referee: Christopher Bodell
Assistants: Terence Barnes, Newton Gordon