Redbridge 3 Clapton 4

Updated: November 26, 2016

The final weekend of November saw me over at Oakside for an eagerly awaited Essex Senior League derby between two of the most in form sides this month in Redbridge and Clapton.

The hosts were top of November’s form table with four wins from five league games and no defeats whilst the Tons were just behind them having had a very good month as well. It all pointed to a potentially tight and entertaining encounter indeed.

And the visitors set the tone for the game to follow when Dylan Ebengo headed a free kick against the post for the visitors after barely a minute before the rebound was struck wide. However it was the hosts who took the lead on six minutes when a close range effort was saved before the ball hit a Tons defender and went into the net.

Moments after this goal the Tons fired an effort over and then fired one across goal as they looked to try and respond quickly. And on ten minutes they did find the net when Stefan Nielsen beat the offside trap and slotted home to the joy of the visiting management and fans.

This joy was short lived though as just two minutes later the Motorman were in front again as Jacob Dingli pounced on some hesitant defending to net from close range although Clapton thought they had levelled immediately after, only to see the flag go up for offside. It had been a crazy start.

And the crazy nature of the contest continued when the Tons netted a second equaliser on 17 minutes as a great run by Raphael Duyile ended with his finish going in via a defender on the goal line and the game was tied up at 2-2 inside the opening twenty minutes.

Midway through the half the Tons saw a looping header headed off the line at the back post and then moments later a cross shot from Tons winger Ryan Reed hit the bar via keeper Jake Mernagh’s hand and on the half hour mark a good turn from Duyile saw an effort well saved by Mernagh at the near post.

And then it was Redbridge’s turn to have chances and in the 34th minute a corner was turned wide by Sean Kettle then Marcus Carter saw a curled effort deflected over the Tons bar and from the resulting corner hosts skipper Charlie Parish headed over a free header in what was a very decent opening.

Seven minutes before the break saw a hosts free kick to the back post headed straight at Tons keeper Richie Robins and then Robins had to make an unbelievable save from a close range effort by Lee Weemes after Dingli had played a ball across to him and it seemed Weemes would be certain to score. However it meant the sides went into the break all square in what had been a belter of a contest so far.

Half Time Redbridge 2 Clapton 2

It was the visitors who had the first effort of the second period on 52 minutes when they saw an effort from Nielsen drift wide and then four minutes later the Tons somehow failed to score as a close range effort was cleared off the line before a glancing header from the resulting corner drifted just wide of the far post.

Just before the hour mark the hosts went close as hesitant defending saw skipper Parish knock an effort across goal and then minutes later another golden chance for Weemes saw him hit straight at Robins from point blank range when he really should of found the net.

Midway through the half the Tons whistled one across the hosts dangerzone and then Ajani Domingo-Carrington had a good chance for the Tons but saw Mernagh save the strikers effort, however with twenty minutes remaining Domingo-Carrington nipped in to give the Tons the lead for the first time in this topsy turvy contest.

However in keeping with the nature of the contest the hosts immediately levelled the match up once again as Weemes finally buried a chance after two blocked efforts and the game was all square heading into the final fifteen minutes or so.

The chances continued to come and on 77 minutes Tons winger Johny Ashman put a beauty of a cross into the box but no one attacked it and then after a ball was laid back, Steven Sardinha saw his effort go over the bar. Four minutes later a great twisting run by Tons winger Reed ended with his effort from an acute angle going over and then with five minutes left the Motormen went close as Bryan Kyungu saw an effort fly just over before Dingli saw an effort blocked.

With two minutes left the Tons went so close to a possible winner as they saw three goalbound efforts blocked somehow but as the game entered stoppage time Clapton netted the winning goal as Reed finally drilled the ball home after two blocked efforts saw the loose ball fall to him in the box.

The win maintain’s Clapton’s fourth place in the division and thus ended Redbridge’s unbeaten November and sees the Motorman drop to 11th as a result of losing an absolute jaffer of a contest at Oakside. It most certainly lived up to all the pre match hype, that’s for sure!!!

Full Time Redbridge 3 Clapton 4

Here are some photos from the day:-

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  1. adam silver

    November 26, 2016 at 11:26 pm

    great read as always

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