This Isthmian League North fixture on a cold Friday evening was a good opportunity to meet a good friend and enjoy football in a league I haven’t watched since a match at Aveley’s ground back in October. On that occasion Maldon & Tiptree, then on the verge of the play off places, narrowly lost to Aveley in a high scoring encounter, which ended 5-3 to the home team.
The current league table shows that Barking FC are sitting in seventeenth place, in the Isthmian North League although some 9 points clear of the relegation places. They sacked manager Justin Gardner before Christmas and temporarily have experienced league player, Charlie McDonald, at the helm.
Maldon & Tiptree are in tenth place but just needing a run of form in the coming games, to ensure their season does not become a mid table wash out, by the end of February. They are managed by Wayne Brown, who played for Watford and Leicester during his professional career.
Mayesbrook Park Stadium holds a capacity of 2500, with seating for 200. There is a covered standing terrace behind each of the goals. The ground boats a decent 3G pitch and a clubhouse and refreshment stand. A Friday night crowd of 176 was recorded and the Barking faithful sang loudly, to create a decent atmosphere.
The first half was an end to end encounter, with Barking having the majority of chances. However it was Maldon & Tiptree who went ahead with a 35th minute penalty, converted by Shad Ngandu, for the away team.
Just 5 minutes into the second half, Barking hit back with an equalising goal from George Purcell.
On 58 minutes, Barking went into the lead with a goal from debutant Freddie Parker who ran into the box and slipped the ball past the keeper.
Barking stretched the lead to 3-1 in the minute with a fine goal and the best of the game, by Barney Williams.
Both sides continued to throw everything into attack but at the final whistle it was Barking taking all three points.