Defeat hurts Tower Hamlets
- Credit: Archant
Essex Senior League: Tower Hamlets 0 Stansted 1
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.
You may also want to watch:
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.
- 1 The Queen lends her name to Royal London’s emergency Covid wards
- 2 Police hunt after stabbing in Cable Street: One man hurt
- 3 No injuries but 20 rescued as firefighters tackle Limehouse blaze
- 4 Death of woman, 75, in Mile End fire could have been avoided
- 5 Police raid cannabis factory near Liverpool Street station: 2 arrests
- 6 Airbnb house party violence leaves police officer with broken finger
- 7 Doctors urge Tower Hamlets mayor to end support for Silvertown Tunnel
- 8 Teenager found dead in Victoria Park
- 9 Driver arrested after police 'drugs patrol' stops car in Whitechapel
- 10 Tribute to 7th Barts Health Trust worker to die of Covid-19
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.
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.