Late Deubtant Goal Earns First Win At Barking

Barking & East Ham Utd

Barking & East Ham Utd

Slough Town

Slough Town

Fitzgerald (87)
League Attendance: 127 Veli Hakki
Slough made the journey over to East London hoping to put a bad run behind them and pick up some points against basement side Barking. The surprise inclusions of Gary Fitzgerald and Mark Hawthonre into the starting line up gave the sign that Steve Browne is shaping the team more now to the ideal that he sees it.

The match began with neither side really making much impression on their opponents goals. Geoff Brazier had the opening chance of the half with a strike from a direct free kick which bent over the wall, but narrowly past the wrong side of the post.

Slough played marginally the better of the two sides in the opening exchanges, but lacked the creativity and penetration in front of goal to make any impression on Jason White. Slough's best chance of the half came after 19 minutes. The impressive Hakki beat his defender on the left wing and cut inside. He laid the ball back to a waiting Junior Haynes whose well struck volley was well saved by the feet of white before being cleared from danger.

Shortly after, debutant Fitzgerald met a Gilkes corner with his head, but couldn't direct the shot on target as the ball flew narrowly wide. Brazier again had a chance for Barking down the other end after some fortune saw the ball fall kindly at his feet in the Slough area, but a lack of composure saw the midfielder blaze his shot well over Steve Mautone's goal. Barking now gained some confidence and began to create a few half chances, but failed to really worry Mautone. Marsh and Sallis both saw weak efforts comfortably snapped up by Mautone, when the pair possibly should have done better.

In the final chance of the half, Haynes beat his defender down the right hand side and put in a low hard cross into the path of Coombs. Under pressure as he and a defender raced in at the near post, the attacker could not direct his shot goalwards and stabbed the ball narrowly wide.

Slough started brightly in the second half with Gilkes releasing Coombs, but the strikers first touch past the defender made the angle too tight and White saved comfortably.

Ten minutes into the second half, Haynes should have scored his third goal of the season when Hakki broke down the left wing and put in a cross into the back post. Haynes timed his run well, met the ball unmarked, but headed woefully wide, much to the despair of the travelling fans.

Barking had their first chance of the half when Sallis was released down the left hand side of the area, but shot comfortably over when again, could have done a lot better with the chance.

A mistake by Darron Wilkinson, who was enduring a very poor five minute spell in midfield, let in Marsh. As he advanced into the box, he was brought down by Barrowcliff and the referee was left with no choice but to award a penalty. Mautone proved again his ability at penalty stopping, largely helped by Neufville's poor kick low to the keeper's left hand side.

With the final chance of the game came the winner from Fitzgerald. Only minutes remained as a Hakki free kick seemed to go through a gaping hole in the middle of the box. In snuck Fitzgerald at the back post and slammed the ball home from a few yards out much to the delight of the travelling few.

Steve Browne commented "I thought we were the better side, but we made very hard work of it all. We missed our chances, putting ourselves under pressure, but I thought it was a fair result in the end. I felt that Gary (Fitzgerald) will fit in really well. He's a very solid player and it was fitting he got the goal on his debut."

Barking & East Ham Utd Lineup

White, Maskell, Admas, Frew, Salmon (c), Marsh, Brazier, Thomas, Neufville, Sallis (Hunt, 73), Holloway (Searle, 73).


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