Another Friday, another opportunity to attend an Essex Senior League game, at Oakside Stadium, tucked in behind Barkingside tube station to watch Redbridge take on near neighbours Woodford Town.
I hadn’t visited Oakside for several years, in fact i think the last time was a 2-1 win for London APSA over then resident home side Barkingside, so it must have been quite a while ago, with APSA no longer in the Essex Senior League and Barkingside playing at pastures new. The stadium however is still one of my favourites in this league, easy enough to get to and the raised terracing behind the goal nearest the turnstiles and on one side of the pitch provides a decent view.
The crowd was swelled by a large contingent of Swedish supporters who were taking in the Millwall game the following day and Redbridge must have enjoyed taking a few quid more than normal at the bar, as these lads were certainly ‘enjoying’ their evening out. The atmosphere was also boosted by the unique Woodford Town noisy band who sang, bang drums and played some weird and wonderful instruments throughout the evening from the far side.
And they had plenty to make a noise about, as Woodford Town were excellent in the first half, Redbridge couldn’t handle their pace and movement at all during the opening to the game and it was no surprise when the visitors took the lead with Samir Ali finding the target in the 9th minute from close range and this was followed a few minutes later by a second goal from Machingaidze as Redbridge again struggled to find any answer to the wave after wave of Woodford attacks.
It could and should have been more by half time and you did wonder if Woodford might regret not putting the game to bed sooner but although Redbridge did come back into things slightly, the result was never really in any doubt and Woodford made it 3-0 when Temi Babalola was played through and slotted past the keeper. Redbridge didn’t help themselves when skipper Murphy was ordered off after an uncompromising challenge and they went down to nine men after an injury after they had used all their subs. But credit to the home side for not giving up and their efforts were rewarded with the best goal of the night late on when Bryan Kyungu fired into the top corner from distance.
Overall though a comfortable win for Woodford who i must say were very impressive to watch in the first half and another side who could shock a few more teams as the season goes on. Redbridge after some good recent away performances will be very disappointed, as on the evening their display just wasn’t good enough to warrant any points.
So another enjoyable Essex Senior League, Friday night excursion, hopefully there will be plenty more between now and the end of the season, as it is always a good night to watch football.