Barking & Dagenham duo put rivals to sword in big win

Barking & Dagenham's Gracie Jones netted a hat-trick against Tower Hamlets

Barking & Dagenham's Gracie Jones netted a hat-trick against Tower Hamlets - Credit: BDSFA

Gracie Jones and Aysia Matabaro combined for seven of Barking & Dagenham’s eight goals without reply in their latest win in the London Girls’ League.

Rehema Okungu was on hand for the other, but it was the Roding and Grafton forwards who proved the scourge of the Tower Hamlets’ backline for the early leaders.

The opener was registered with just five minutes gone as Matabaro, who had already hit a post and seen a further attempt whistle just wide, seized upon a loose ball across the box and unselfishly laid the ball off to Jones who fired into the bottom corner.

Within a minute, it was two as Marcella Sibbons-Setal’s lob over the top bounced between the visiting defence and keeper, and Matabaro stole in to net her first of the day.

Jones reciprocated Matabaro’s earlier gift by sliding a perfect pass into her path for her second before Eva Young played the ball of the day into the danger zone for Matabaro’s second hat-trick in three games.

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Barking & Dagenham looked like scoring with every attack as Young, Jones and Matabaro all had further attempts, before the latter was teed up up once again by Jones to make it 5-0. 

And when Marcheri Sherriff’s long-throw split the visiting defence again, Jones was on hand to add a sixth going into the break.

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That allowed Barking & Dagenham a chance to experiment and rotate as they pressed for more and two minutes after the restart, Jones’s outstretched boot just missed Young’s whipped cross.

Skipper Sherriff thrust through midfield on a powerful run before unleashing a rocket from 30 yards that cannoned back off the crossbar and had two more chances to add to the tally.

Young’s effort from the edge of the box was tipped over and Sibbons-Setal’s run almost yielded a seventh.

With 10 minutes left, Sibbons-Setal flashed through the inside right channel and unleashed a shot that brought a fine save from the Hamlets’ keeper but Okungu converted the rebound.

Jones completed her first district hat-trick in similar fashion with the last kick of the game after Matabaro’s initial effort was well saved and she produced a calm finish.

Barking & Dagenham: Tobechukwu Edoka (George Carey), Gracie Jones (Grafton), Aysia Matabaro (Roding), Rehema Okungu (George Carey), Marcella Sibbons-Setal (Monteagle), Marcheri Sheriff (Grafton), Dalia Wyszczelska (Hunters Hall), Eva Young (Hunters Hall), Rihanna Zaman (Hunters Hall).

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