Barkingside back in hunt

BARKINGSIDE manager Tony Fenn insists his side are back in the Essex Senior League title race after beating Clapton on Saturday, writes Ben Welch.

BARKINGSIDE manager Tony Fenn insists his side are back in the Essex Senior League title race after beating Clapton on Saturday, writes Ben Welch.

It took 'Side 60 minutes to break the deadlock at the Spotted Dog, with a Sean Thomas strike.

Tommy Steel doubled his team's lead 12 minutes later, before Zina Barizasi gave the hosts a life- line in the 78th minute.

Barkingside held on to claim their first win in five and Fenn is confident they're back on the title trail.

"This win has put us right back in the mix," he said.

"It was a must-win game. We were losing ground on Burnham Ramblers and Stansted, so we couldn't afford to drop more points.

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"We didn't play particularly well, but to win and play badly is a good sign. We've stopped the rot. Now we have to build on this and keep the pressure on the leading pack."

The Oakside club are currently eighth in the league, seven points behind leaders Stansted, with two games in hand.

But Fenn admitted a horrific injury to central defender Alex Carter took the shine off the win.

Eight minutes from time, Carter went in for a 50-50 challenge with Justin Maynaru and broke his fibia and tibia bones and dislocated his ankle.

"It was terrible accident, but it's one of those things in football. Everyone was saying it was a bad challenge, but I spoke to the boy afterwards and he was very concerned and remorseful," said Fenn.

"We're all disappointed and gutted for Alex, but there was no malice in the tackle. The club will do everything we can to support him."

'Side are rallying support for the defender after he was operated on at Newham Hospital and now faces a lengthy period out.

Barkingside: Roust, Cooper, Conway, Ojebali, Carter, Burgess, Thompson, Mole, Steel, Arojogun, Tolan. Subs: Thomas, Church, Woolley.

BARKINGSIDE host Bethnal Green on Saturday in the first leg of their League Cup quarter-final tie.

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