Joshua Brown reports on another miserable evening in the Ryman Division One North for Barkingside…
Barkingside remain at the foot of the Ryman Division One North table after a 4-2 home defeat to Waltham Abbey, which extends their run without a win to 18 games.
Jack West cancelled out Michael Spencer’s opener inside the first three minutes, before Calvin Poku scored either side of a Christan Assombalonga brace.
Assombalonga completed his hat-trick in the second half, to take his tally to nine goals in his last seven games.
The game got off to a flying start, as Waltham Abbey took the lead in the first minute when West’s header looped inside the far post from a free kick.
Barkingside reacted well after the restart, as Spencer’s shot from outside the box took a wicked deflection to wrong foot Omand in the Waltham Abbey goal and bring the home side level.
After a fast start the match began to settle, although neither team was able to take control of the game. Frustration began to show on the pitch with some wreckless tackles before the referee stepped in to calm proceedings down.
Barkingside front man, With, was their biggest threat throughout the first half as Waltham Abbey failed to deal with his height. Waltham regained their lead in the 34th minute through Assombalonga, after he showed quick feet to beat two defenders and slot in from close range. George Lataya had a chance to level the match just moments later, but his shot was too high to trouble Omand.
The hosts finally got their equaliser from a superb counter attack, after clearing a Waltham corner. Adebayo burst down the right wing from his own half and put in a deep cross – which found the unmarked Poku to head home a textbook goal.
Barkingside kept the momentum going in at the start of the second half, but they failed to capitalise and create any clear cut chances.
Against the run of play Waltham Abbey’s Assombalonga scored his second of the night, thanks to a tidy through ball from Darrelle Russell.
Barkingside started to look like a bruised side and it wasn’t long before Assombalonga found himself through on goal again to score his hat-trick before being brought down just outside the box by Jimmy Sheppard. Despite being the last man, Sheppard escaped with just a caution from the referee.
Assombalonga brushed himself down and completed his hat-trick from the resulting free kick, bending his shot over the wall and into the top corner.
Alfie Wren almost gave Barkingside a glimmer of hope but his shot was cleared off the line by Sam Robbins.
Barkingside remain bottom of the table and seven points adrift of safety, whilst the win for Abbey puts them three points above the drop.
Barkingside – Behcet, Wilson, Wright (c), Shepherd, Smith, Wren, Spencer, Adebayo, With, Lataya, Poku
Waltham Abbey – Omand, Attard, Joynes, Daveney, Johnson, Robbins, Russell, West, Assombalonga, Flack, Wood