Match Report – Spencer Hume Editor: Daniel Dunne
Essex County Premier Cup Round Three
Alresford Colne Rangers v Barking U23s
Essex and Suffolk Border Premier side Alresford welcomed Bostik North Development side Barking U23s. Barking, currently 4th in their league, are having a very good season while home side Alresford also sit 4th in their league and have too started well. Both sides come into this game coming off the back of a defeat. Can our Border side Alresford make the last 8?
The visitors got us underway at Ford Lane but it was the hosts who had the first chance on goal. A long ball over the top of the Barking defence saw Jack Johnston latch onto it and fire at goal but his effort went wide of the post. Alresford were very much in control in the opening ten and almost had the breakthrough. A big sliding tackle by Winston Juby saw the ball rebound to Johnston who quickly turned and ran at goal. Sucking the defenders in meant there was a lot of space for Juby to run into and Johnston smartly laid it off to his teammate who drilled a shot at goal but his effort flew safely into the hands of goalkeeper Brandon Bullman.
Johnston continued to cause problems for Barking who were struggling with Alresford’s attacking play. Johnston dribbled down the line before looking up and floating in a magnificent ball to the back post for the run off Aiden O’Brien who, on the volley, blazed over the bar. With 31 minutes on the clock, Alresford had a dangerous free kick 30 yards out. The ever-confident Johnston stepped up and fired a powerful shot at goal but Bullman was well behind it!
Two minutes later and Alresford really should have been ahead. A well-timed ball over the top saw Johnston latch onto it, Bullman came rushing off his line but Johnston tapped the ball past him however despite keeping it in play he found himself at a tight angle from the goal and hit the wrong side of the post!
Against the run of play, the visitors almost went ahead. James Dobson with an attempt to spark the Barking team to life, played a ball through to Isaiah Opara who cut back and curled an effort at goal, but his effort went over the bar for a goal kick. The visitors started to have a good spell and hit the post 8 minutes before half time. Some really smart work by Josh Osude saw him play the ball into Opara who laid it off to Charlie Parrish who, on the half turn, smacked the edge of the post.
With just a minute to go before the half finished, Barking almost broke the deadlock. Dobson with the corner to the front post met the head of Luke Hammond who’s looping header was cleared off the line by Daniel Boxall, back out to Dobson who fired a powerful shot top left from a tight angle but his effort went just wide. Barking ending the half strong!
HT: Alresford Colne Rangers 0-0 Barking U23s
The hosts got us underway for the second half and after the first half’s even affair, all I could think of was this game was going to extra time. Alresford started the stronger and Ermal Mucaj almost completed a sleek solo run with a brilliant goal. He picked the ball up 30 yards out, some quick touches saw him away from Sita Aurelien as he headed at goal. He then knocked the ball past Charlie Parrish, made his way into the box where he fired at goal but his effort joined the result of the majority of shots by going just wide. A fantastic run!
Alresford then went close from a corner with Brett getting his head to it but it cleared the bar. Barking almost had a breakthrough with a scrappy free kick. Dobson with another fantastic delivery saw Alresford not clear there lines well, and some scrappy football inside the box saw it clear only as far as Opara who sliced his shot wide. On the 72nd minute the deadlock was finally broken. Daniel Boxall with a well-timed ball over the top of the Barking defence to Johnston who, after beating the offside trap, went through 1-on-1. A brilliant dummy saw him dribble past Bullman and Johnston calmly slotted into an empty net to give Alresford the lead!
ACR 1-0 Barking U23s!
Alresford went and looked to double their lead and were almost successful. A quick corner by Mucaj & Johnston saw Mucaj get a shot at goal but his effort went wide. The visitors then went and almost made my half-time prediction come true. Opara crossed a fantastic ball into the box for the head of Parrish who’s effort smashed off the bar! It came back into play and fell to James Osude but Osude’s effort was sliced disappointingly wide.
With minutes remaining, ACR were fairly comfortable and shielded out Barking to go through to the Quarter Finals of the Essex Premier Cup!
FT: Alresford Colne Rangers 1-0 Barking U23s
A brilliant game of football at Ford Lane. A really good cup tie between two very good sides. Full credit to Barking who travelled all the way from East London and battled well for 90 minutes, best of luck to them for the rest of their season! ACR were brilliant and have done themselves proud, a brilliant performance! Well done lads.
MOTM: Daniel Boxall (Alresford Colne Rangers)
MOTM: James Dobson (Barking U23s)
ACR LINE UP| Charles, Wightman, Juby, Osborne, Hammerton, Dorin, Newcombe, Mucaj, O’Brien, Johnston
SUBS| Hyams, Ellis, Morgan, Daly
Barking U23s LINE UP| Bullman, Popoola, Izidro, Holmes, Hammond, Parrish, Opara, Barraclough, Sita, Dobson, Osude, Apperley.
SUBS| Allen, Adjilson
REFERRE| John Watson