May & Baker FC v Barkingside FC – Friday 14th April 2023 – Parkside (Aveley)

Having been over in Thurrock throughout the day, I stayed on to see May & Baker FC play Barkingside in the Eastern Counties League (1st Division). The Parkside Stadium has great parking and comfortable seating in the main stand as well as a decent bar and a smaller seated stand and four covered standing areas. The pitch is 3G and there is good floodlighting.

Main Stand at Parkside

There is only one drawback, which I have encountered on both my visits here, namely that due to the wind and how open it is around the ground, it feels really cold!! Today was no exception, as heavy Spring rain fell throughout the game. May and Baker FC ground share with Aveley FC, but there are plans for them to move back to their new ground in Dagenham by the end of 2023.

Smaller stand at Parkside.

May & Baker FC came in to the fixture this evening knowing they had an outside chance of qualifying for the promotion play offs. They are eight points behind Stanway Pegasus, in the final play off spot, but with three games in hand, have a real chance to close the gap. Abidemi Lamina has top scored this season, with ten goals, supported by Robert Bagnall with eight goals.

May & Barker FC warm up.
Eastern Counties (South) Division 1 League (Thurlow Nunn League)
– Table at kick off courtesy of

Barkingside FC came into the fixture needing one win to guarantee safety this season. They have struggled for goals at times and their top scorer, to date, was Archie Hammond, with seven.

Barkingside FC warm up
Match Teams
Players enter the pitch at Parkside Stadium.

The first half was played in heavy rain and the slippy conditions, alongside the pressure of both sides needing the points, appeared to hinder players making final passes. Chance after chance was wasted, as balls were over or under hit.

Barkingside FC in light and dark blue hooped shirts and dark blue shorts. May and Baker FC in red and black striped shirts and black shorts.

At the break the sides went in with the rain still falling and the scores tied at 0-0, with everything still to play for.

Within 6 minutes of the restart, Michael James-Akerele made it 0-1 to the away side, stabbing the ball home after a clash between Seb Barford, the May and Baker goalkeeper and Barkingside’s Alex Young.


May and Baker FC had a player sin binned for dissent on 55 minutes, reducing the home side to ten men, for ten minutes and adding to the pressure faced.

In the 80th minute Robert Adams hit a beautifully curled shot from the right hand flank, which caught both me filming and Sen Barford in the May and Baker goal, by surprise, to stretch the lead to 0-2.

Celebrations at 0-2.

In the 85th minute May and Baker had a lifeline, when they were awarded a penalty for a late challenge in the penalty area. The referee sin binned a Barkingside player for his protests about the decision. The delay may have affected May and Baker’s Lamina, who stepped upto take the spot kick, as he struck it rather safely, allowing Barkingside’s keeper, Dylan Walsh to dive to his left, saving the spot kick comfortably.

Penalty Save

At the final whistle it was Barkingside who left with three points, virtually guaranteeing their safety. May and Baker now cannot realistically make the play offs, so will begin to plan for the coming season instead.

Handshakes at full time.

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