Redbridge 2 Tower Hamlets 1

Updated: July 30, 2017

So the day finally arrived, the opening weekend of the Essex Senior League season, and I was over at Oakside to see Redbridge host Tower Hamlets.

The hosts have been tipped by many to be right up there this season after assembling a more than decent squad whilst Hamlets have also been adding to their squad from last season and with the addition of Ajay Ashanike as assistant boss, things were looking much more promising for the new campaign after a terrible season last year.

Despite this though many thought Redbridge would prove too strong for the Mile End club but the first quarter hour mark saw neither side test either keeper, although the hosts did have a couple of chances although these were off target as the game remained goalless.

The following period of play saw the hosts start to look dangerous, although from one of their attacks brought about the booking of Eljay Worrell after he slid into Hamlets keeper Kieran Bennett, which caused a less than welcoming reaction from the visitors.

The visitors though had barely threatened the hosts goal but in the 34th minute they pounced to take a shock lead when one of their new signings Wale Odedoyin got in down the left and squared the ball across goal for Hassan Mustafa to apply the finishing touch.

Redbridge tried to find a swift response but couldn’t and it nearly got alot worse for the hosts just before half time when Hamlets so nearly made it two as Alhousman Ndure’s glancing header was brilliantly saved onto the post by Lewis Greene, it really was a world class save, and it kept the scoreline at 0-1.

However the visitors still went into the break a goal ahead in a half were the hosts had had plenty of openings but just couldn’t find a way through what was a resolute Hamlets side.

Redbridge flew out of the blocks in the opening exchanges of the second period and saw three decent chances spurned whilst Hamlets almost pinched another on break as they looked to try and increase that cushion.

For a period of play thereafter the visitors probably had their best spell of the game and saw a decent effort saved by Greene down to his left and then saw Wale Odedoyin loop a header onto the roof of the hosts net.

The Motormen were now cutting a frustrated figure, this wasn’t how the season was supposed to start for them and they had been surprised at how tough Hamlets had been, but the final twenty minutes of the contest saw Redbridge gather momentum and they were soon putting the visitors under serious pressure.

The final ten minutes were crazy to say the least. Firstly Calvin Poku saw an effort hit the bar and go over when one on one with Bennett and then moments later Poku thumped another effort against the bar and you thought that it just wasn’t going to be the home sides day.

But their was to be late drama and with two minutes left it was third time lucky for Poku as he converted a ball across from Jacob Dingli, who had broke into the box down the left hand side, and the hosts were level.

However they weren’t done there as two minutes later Worrall headed home a cross from the right for the late winner and cued mass celebrations amongst the hosts. They knew they had been in a game but they had found a way to win and that could be important going forward.

For Hamlets it was heartbreaking after working so hard during the contest, however they can take an awful lot of positives from this performance. They looked a team out their and looked like they wanted to battle for each other, which can only be a good thing moving forwards.

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