Barking were ECWFL Champions Plate winners on Sunday as they came back from 1-0 down to beat Frontiers Ladies at Church Langley Playing Fields.
The home side dominated for much of the first half, but were punished in the second as Barking took the game away from them, with a much improve performance.
It was the perfect start to the game for Frontiers as they took the lead within four minutes. They were awarded a penalty for a handball, and it was goalkeeper Jill Bartholomew who stepped up and slotted the spot-kick beyond her opposite number. Despite taking the lead, Frontiers didn’t have the biggest foothold in the game as both sides had chances.
Barking had a corner, but the set-piece was cleared before the rebounded shot was well by Bartholomew. Frontiers captain Kelly Holsworth tried her luck from distance, but her shot was fired wide of the post, before Barking looked to come forward again. Laura Bunton looked to make a good run towards goal, but her run was cut short before Chloe Jackson also made a good run towards goal, but her effort was blocked.
Looking for an equaliser, Emma Harrison tried her luck from distance, but her shot was fired over the bar. Frontiers looked to grab control of the game as they looked to double their lead. Nicole Farmer fed the ball through to Bilge Taspinar, but her shot was inches wide of the post before a minute later, Anna Michaels struck towards goal, but her shot was saved by Amy Lewington. As the clock ticked along, Frontiers continued to come forward, but struggled to find another goal as Barking defended well. Farmer looked to volley a shot towards goal, but her effort was fired wide.
Barking looked to finish the half well as they sought the equaliser. Jackson was another player to try her luck from distance, but the Barking players shot came to nothing before the ball fell to Laura Bunton in the opposition box, but her shot bounced just wide before good defending saw the hosts clear a ball that was pin-balling in their box. Right at the end of the first half, Bunton made another good run, but the ball was deflected out for a corner, but the set-piece was over everyone and out of play.
The visitors started the second half as they ended the first as they looked to come forward in the early moments. Bunton had a shot on goal, but her effort was comfortably held by the keeper. It didn’t take long to find an equaliser in the second period as Barking were level in the 51st-minute. Sarah Finch fired a shot towards goal, and found the bottom corner. Laura Bunton had made her presence felt in the game as she made another run towards goal, but her shot was well saved by Bartholomew.
Barking had taken the lead, 8-minutes after they equalised, as Laura Bunton got on the scoresheet. A corner ball was flicked on towards the back-post, with Bunton leaping highest to head beyond the keeper. The visitors continued to dominate and soon found themselves 3-1 up as Bunton got her second of the afternoon in the 67th-minute. She ran onto a through ball and fired beyond the keeper to put Barking firmly in control of the game, with just over 20-minutes to play.
The hosts had their first purposeful attack of the season half as they came forward a couple of minutes after Barking’s third goal. Farmer slipped away from the defender and crossed the ball, but it was headed away before the rebounded shot was deflected out for a corner, but nothing came from the set-piece. Barking had another chance as Jackson delivered the ball into box, but Fran Pridie couldn’t keep her shot down before Frontiers had a foothold in the game, looking for a way back into the game.
A free-kick was floated into the box, but Chloe Godleman-Barnum couldn’t get her shot on target, before the hosts went close once again as Holsworth fired a free-kick towards goal, but saw her effort rattle the crossbar. With a couple of minutes to play, Frontiers looked to get another goal and the ball was floated into the box, but they were only able to see it run out of play.
In added-time, Bunton ran through on goal once again, but her effort was saved at the near post and the referee brought the game to an end, confirming Barking as Champions.