Woodford Town reached the second round of the Peter Butcher Memorial Trophy as they eased past Barkingside Reserves with a 6-1 win on Saturday afternoon. The game was a sole survivor of the rainfall and although most of the game was closely fought, a more energetic second half performance was the difference.
Both sides tried to get off the best possible start but neither could make the most of the early chances. Owen Rice was almost played through for the visitors but a poor touch took it away from him before another poor touch for Side’s Liam Thompson took the ball out of play whilst Woodford’s Olayemi Ogunfunmilade and Jaydon Charles saw their shots saved and sent just wide respectively. There was hardly a difference between the two sides’ quality but neither could find the opening goal. Barkingside’s Emmanuel Akinte over-played a through ball before a shot from Connor Budny was saved comfortably by Alex Reed whilst a wild shot from Francis Biyak was fired over the bar.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 16th minute when Olayemi pounced on a mistake at the back before tapping the ball in to give Woodford Town the lead. It didn’t matter that the more senior side had the lead as Barkingside Reserves responded immediately with an equaliser. Owen Rice was played through before getting the ball over the keeper who was in two minds as to whether he should stay-put or rush out.
As the game went on, the home side began to find some form and looked more comfortable in the game. Olayemi sent a shot just wide before a shot from a corner was sent just over. The pressure paid off for the hosts as they got their second goal just after the 30-minute mark. Afolabi Soyemi-Ololade tapped in from close range after a low cross was driven in. Despite being 2-1 ahead, Town kept up the pressure as they looked for a third before half-time. Both Afolabi Soyemi-Ololade and Karl Kayembe had chances but couldn’t take them. Afolabi was denied by a good save after being played through whilst a back-heel touch was not strong enough to send the ball goalward and a shot from Karl Kayembe was wide from distance. Despite a free-kick in added time for the Reserve side, the teams went into the break with the hosts leading.
It was Woodford Town who came out strongest in the second half and right from the first minute, it was defence against attack as the visitors camped themselves in their own half. A shot from Reece Antoine-Dacosta recorded the first shot off the half but the ball was tipped away by the keeper. The pressure continued from Town but Barkingside did well to deflect all attacks. Somehow Woodford hadn’t scored a third within the first twenty-minutes of the restart; a free-kick from Antoine-Dacosta was just over the bar before Francis Biyak was allowed to run straight through the heart of the Reserve defence but he wasted the opportunity and shot straight at the goalkeeper.
The third goal was finally scored when the goalkeeper miskicked a ball and gifted Town an opportunity, which they took. Barkingside hadn’t really started in the second half and that showed when 5 minutes later, Woodford had their 4th of the afternoon. Anis Mehmeti neatly finished the ball from inside the box. Just before the fourth goal, the visitors had a rare opportunity but a header from Charlie Hanking was comfortably caught by the keeper.
As the game reached the last couple of minutes, Woodford seeked their 5th of the game but both Eddy Mombanza and Anis Mehmeti had their shots blocked or fired over respectively. The pressure from the home side had paid off as they game reached the 90th minute when Afolabi broke and slotted past the helpless goalkeeper before well into added time, Eddy Mombanza joined in on the scoring when he tucked home after Dion Lewis-Karwan pulled the ball back.
At times in the second half, Barkingside Reserves seeked what would’ve been a consolation goal but they couldn’t score a second and the referee brought the game to an end. The win for Woodford Town means they will now face Clapton in the second round of the cup.