Title dreams end for young Blues


Blues’ title dreams were ended on Wednesday afternoon as Barking collected the three points at the ProKit (UK) Stadium.

Tim Moylette’s side needed to win both of their remaining games, but Barking’s win was enough to give them the National League under-19 Alliance Division C title.

A poor 12 minute spell in the first half cost the young Blues Academy dearly as they conceded three goals, and despite a spirited fight-back from the Birchwood High School based side it was too little, too late.

After an opening spell that had been even with few openings Barking went ahead in the 17th minute with Marcus Fadina firing a powerful shot past keeper Aron Martin from 25 yards.

Two minutes later the defence was at fault as Christoper Rodrigues was left free to shoot past Martin.

In the 23rd minute Stortford were close to reducing the deficit when Chad Cruse found Toluwani Osiyemi on the left flank and when the striker cut in for goal his shot was well saved by keeper Brandon Bullman.

Then, just before the half-hour, the Blues were caught on the counter-attack and Rodriguez’s cross from the left was turned in to the net by Josh O’Shea from close range.

Two minutes before the break Stortford had a life-line when they pulled a goal back. Chad Cruse delivered a free-kick from the left into the box where Jacob Bennett was fouled by defender Harry Rixon. Dan Pinkney duly slotted the resultant penalty past Bullman.

There was little between the two sides on the restart but Osiyemi had a glancing header held by Bullman following another Cruse free-kick.

Moylette’s side reduced Barking’s lead further midway through the second half when the ball ran loose towards the right flank and there seemed no danger but from fully 30 yards Kieran Bonney delivered a great shot over the top of the keeper and under the bar.

With nine minutes left of normal time the visitors were awarded a penalty themselves after their Ronnie Downes was fouled in the box by Sami Shulton. Downes took the spot-kick but Martin guessed right and saved well.

The Blues keeper also saved from substitute Jorge De Almeida a couple of minutes later. In the closing stages of the match both Osiyemi and Bennett were both close to getting an equaliser but the visitors held on to their lead.

The Blues final match of the season sees them at home to Boreham Wood Whites on Monday with a 1pm kick-off.

Blues: Aron Martin; Charlie Riley (Harry Senior 63); Chad Cruse; Jacob Bennett; Joseph Vieites-Stephenson; Jamie Riley; Sami Shulton; Dan Pinkney; Toluwani Osiyemi; Matt Kemp; Kieran Bonney (Daniel Hampton 90+3).

Unused substitutes: Jack Booker and Oliver Travell.