Bostik North: Barking 1 Dereham Town 0
PUBLISHED: 19:04 27 January 2018 | UPDATED: 10:51 28 January 2018
Barking came out on top in a cagey affair with fellow promotion-chasers Dereham Town at Mayesbrook Park, thanks to a Billy Jones penalty.
Dereham came into the game in fourth place, but Barking’s win saw them climb to seventh, three points behind Maldon & Tiptree, as their rivals slipped to fifth.
Blues had to make a change to their plans before the game when striker Izzy Bademosi was injured in the warm-up.
Nonetheless there wasn’t much in the first half with both sides exchanging an early chance each, before Kiernan Hughes-Mason was brought down in the box on the half-hour mark.
Jones stepped up to dispatch the penalty firmly into the bottom corner, sending Dereham keeper Elliot Pride the wrong way.
Dereham came close to equalising five minutes from time when Jake Anema’s header hit the post but it wasn’t to be as Barking secured the victory with a solid second-half performance.
Assistant boss Andre Thomas said: “All the players know how we want to play, we definitely wanted to start with Izzy and try to see if he can do something in behind the defensive line with his pace, so it was a blow to lose him before the game.
“However Martin Tuohy was great when he got the nod. He was already switched on from the warm-up, so he did what was required of him.
“In regards to the play-offs that’s going to be the forbidden word, we’re literally taking each game as it comes and will see what the points tally buys us at the end of the season.
“It’s our first season back up, so we’re punching above our weight, but we will continue punching. We don’t look at the table as much, we just look at the opposition as they come.
“We always knew today would be cagey because Dereham are fourth, they’re really in and amongst it at the top of the table.
“But for us we came into the game looking to continue from where we left off at Hornchurch (a 1-0 win) which was keeping a clean sheet and anything else is a bonus. If we score the goals to get the victory which is what we managed to do.
“We’ve got Canvey coming up (February 3) which is another tough game, so that’s our next focus. We just want to continue doing what we need to do and hopefully it carries us well for the rest of the season.”
Barking: Olajide, Tarbard, Nesbitt, O’Brien, Adeyemi, Abiola, Jones, Seymour, Tuohy (Ramadan 71), Hughes-Mason (Gilchrist 80), Peart (Jaffa 87). Unused subs: Bademosi, Marfo.