Barking returned to winning ways in their pre-season preparation as the Isthmian League North side beat Wingate & Finchley at Barnet Lane.
Both sides looked to get off to the best start, but it was Barking who looked most like scoring. They almost broke the deadlock after just 6-minutes of the game as Charlie Heatley finished well, but the goal was ruled out for offside. Within a couple of minutes, Barking had taken the lead. The ball was played across the face of goal and tapped home by Kieran Jones from close range.
The visitors looked more comfortable after taking the lead, but they couldn’t make their possession count further. They came close as a defender rose highest at a corner, but the header was just over before Jones ran through on goal, but was brought down by the keeper, with the resulting free-kick comfortably caught by the keeper on the line.
The hosts found a foothold in the game as the game past the 20-minute mark. Wingate had almost found an equaliser as the forward looked to finish first time beyond the keeper after receiving the ball, but the keeper got down well to save the effort, before another couple of chances saw a shot headed off the line and the keeper held onto an effort aimed at the near post.
Wingate continued to come forward as they sought an equaliser. A cross was swung in, but the volley that followed was inches wide of the target before a couple of corners were delivered into the box; a header was just over the bar from the first one before the keeper was forced to tip the ball over the bar. Despite the chances for the hosts, it was Barking who saw out the half the strongest as they looked to double their lead. Good play between Jones and Heatley was the latter through on goal, but his effort was well saved before they looked to come forward with minutes remaining, but struggled to break down the Wingate defence.
Its another good start to the half by both sides. Barking’s Heatley had the ball in the back of the net again, but it was pulled back as the referee had already blown the whistle while the hosts looked to be in on goal, but a perfectly timed challenge denied them a shot at goal.
Despite the good start from both sides, it was Barking who doubled their lead, 7-minutes into the second period. The visitors were awarded a penalty with Heatley stepping up and slotting it well beyond the keeper. Minutes later, the away side wondered how they didn’t have three as the hosts somehow managed to clear the ball off the line.
Wingate had their best chance of the game as the ball was fed out to the left-hand side, but it was deemed one pass to many as the linesman raised his flag. The chances paid off for the hosts as they finally found an goal in the 61st-minute as the forward finished well beyond the keeper. The goal back for the Isthmian League Premier Division sparked life into the game as it became open-ended. Wingate could smell a goal that never came.
As the game reached the final 15-minutes, possession was controlled by Barking once again as they looked to see out the game. A ball was flashed across the face of goal, but cleared from Wingate before the ball was played through to Heatley, but his effort was dragged just wide. Charlie Heatley almost had his second with another good chance, but the forward’s shot was well blocked.
With 5-minutes to play, Wingate looked to equalise as the winger twisted and turned the defence, but his effort was blocked, before the game was taken away from Wingate with 3-minutes to play. The visitors were awarded another penalty with Heatley stepped up once again to score his second of the afternoon.
Wingate’s rapid winger looked to make his pace play as he beat the defenders, but his cross was too high and victory was Barking’s.