Knight steals point for Barkingside

A David Knight injury-time equaliser rescued a point for Barkingside after substitute Des Gallen put Barking ahead at Mayesbrook Park.

If truth be told neither side did enough to win this afternoon’s match, with a draw a fair result in this cagey encounter.

The hosts were looking dangerous early on, particularly down Barkingside’s right, with Johnny Offei causing their defence food for thought.

And it was the home team who had the first clear-cut chance of the opening half.

A hopeful chip by Ricky Mackin was miscontrolled by Barkingside’s Craig Dennis, allowing Mark Steadman through on goal, only the striker guided his effort over the bar.

Few chances materialised as a combination of resolute defending and some poor approach play from both teams, gave the two ‘keepers at either end a quiet first 45.

Speculative efforts from Barking’s Ricky Mackin and David Knight for the away side did little to get the crowd going, as players and supporters were beginning to hope for the half-time whistle.

However, with minutes remaining until the break, it was Ricky Mackin again who created something out of nothing.

The midfielder swiftly played a clever one-two with Dan Macckin, before seeing his goal-bound curler marvellously tipped around the post by Jason Willis.

The second half belonged to the home team. Had one or two Barking players had their shooting boots on today, the visitors would have left Mayesbrook Park empty handed.

Ten minutes into the second, and Barking should have broken the deadlock.

Steadman found Joe Turner inside Barkingside’s box, which resulted in the forward side-stepping a challenge before having his effort heroically blocked by captain Dave Cooper.

Barkingside finally tested Chris Clarke, yet a Tommy Steel looping header never looked like beating the ‘keeper.

Steadman was guilty of wasting a golden opportunity to put the hosts one up on the hour mark.

Once again, Offei got down the wing and sent in a whipping cross that was met by Steadman. Despite stretching, the striker still managed to see his header crash off the post, yet somehow managed to smash the rebound over from six yards out.

That seemed to be that. With chances few and far between going into injury time, the match had 0-0 written all over it.

Except both teams had other ideas. First substitute Des Gallen thought he had won it for Barking, after despatching a Greg Tiffin header across goal beyond Willis from close range.

Then, to the surprise of everyone in the ground, up popped David Knight whose 20 yard belter grabbed a late point for Tony Fenn’s men.

Little time was left for either side to steel all three points, and so both will have to settle for a point apiece. I’m sure one side will be happier than the other.

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