Defeat hurts Tower Hamlets

The Tower Hamlets goal comes under pressure against Stansted (pic: Tim Edwards)

The Tower Hamlets goal comes under pressure against Stansted (pic: Tim Edwards) - Credit: Archant

Essex Senior League: Tower Hamlets 0 Stansted 1

Tower Hamlets keeper Joe Biscoe denies a Stansted rival (pic: Tim Edwards)

Tower Hamlets keeper Joe Biscoe denies a Stansted rival (pic: Tim Edwards) - Credit: Archant

Tower Hamlets lost to a late goal against Stansted in controversial circumstances at the Mile End Stadium.

Frustrations boiled over after the game, as the home side felt the referee’s decision to not award them a free kick in the build-up to Matthew Ashwell’s 83rd-minute winner changed the course of a match they had dominated large parts of.

Just two points separated the teams going into Saturday’s game, with Hamlets knowing a win would see them swap positions in the table to 13th place.

The hosts had lost two on the bounce and were looking for their first points in 2016, while Stansted were also coming into the game on a run of poor form, having suffered four straight defeats.

Action from the Essex Senior League clash between Tower Hamlets and Stansted at Mile End (pic: Tim E

Action from the Essex Senior League clash between Tower Hamlets and Stansted at Mile End (pic: Tim Edwards) - Credit: Archant


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An intriguing contest looked in store and a high scoring one as well, with both sides almost breaking the deadlock early on.

The first chance fell to Hamlets, as Anthony Ikenwe was played through on goal, touching the ball round the keeper but Stewart Huskins tracked back and blocked his shot.

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At the other end Matt Wedlock had a free header that he put just wide.

Hamlets goalkeeper Joe Biscoe had a nervy moment when dealing with a cross, almost spilling it to a Stansted attacker before the ball was cleared to safety.

A Tower Hamlets player gets in a header against Stansted (pic: Tim Edwards)

A Tower Hamlets player gets in a header against Stansted (pic: Tim Edwards) - Credit: Archant

And just before half time, it was panic stations again for Hamlets when a free-kick from the left was floated to the back post and headed back into the six-yard box where a scramble ensued, before the ball was eventually cleared off the line.

Stansted probably edged the half, but the second period proved to be a different story, with the home side having the better opportunities.

O’Neal Rowe and Sunday Wasiu both tested keeper Reece Paine with efforts that would have usually made the net bulge, but the man between the Stansted sticks was not to be beaten.

The first moment of controversy came around the hour mark when Mohammed Ndao flew into a tackle with his studs raised on Sam Ashford as he cleared the ball up the line. The tackle sparked protests and should have seen a red card, but yellow was shown.

Moments later the best chance of the match fell to Jode Agala, as the lightning quick winger latched onto a long ball over the visiting defence and took it round the keeper but with the net at his mercy he fluffed his lines and allowed the ball to be cleared to safety.

With both teams going for the win, the game opened up and it was Stansted who took their opportunity.

A Hamlets attack was cleared and in the tussle for the ball, it appeared that a home midfielder was pushed, but play was allowed to go on and substitute Tom Larkin made a powerful run to the byline and picked out a great cross to opposite winger Ashwell, who applied the finishing touch.

From looking like getting the winner, Hamlets now had to push for a draw and Wasiu saw a cut back find him eight yards out, but once again he saw his shot blocked by a stalwart Stansted defence.

Reece Paine, who shone with a man of the match performance, saved his best save for the end as he reacted brilliantly to a snapshot in a crowded penalty area to help his side hold on to the three points.

Defeat left Hamlets manager Ade Abayomi frustrated and he said: “There was a blatant push on one of my players and it is so disappointing and frustrating for this to happen.

“But it is just a part of football. We played very well in the second half so to lose hurts even more.”

Hamlets are set to host Waltham Forest tonight, although there is a pitch inspection scheduled for early afternoon.

After that Abayomi’s men are due to visit Southend Manor at the weekend.

Tower Hamlets: Biscoe, Earle, Abalo, Ndao, Kelechukwa, Rowe, Agala, Lazoio, Wasiu, Ikenwe, Baffour. Subs: Lukondo, Sumithran, Martinez, Cheikh-Sadibou, Ogunoile.

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