Tower Hamlets lose out to Lodge

Tower Hamlets manager Ade Abayomi (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

Tower Hamlets manager Ade Abayomi (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo). - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Tower Hamlets 0 Wadham Lodge 1

Tower Hamlets lost out to a single goal from Essex Senior League rivals Wadham Lodge at the Mile End Stadium on Saturday.

Daniel Jones swept home from four yards after a free kick into the box wasn’t cleared to give the visitors a deserved victory, after a lacklustre display from the hosts.

Having arrested their eight-game losing streak in the league with a fine victory at Haringey & Waltham, Hamlets must have felt confident they could repeat the trick against Lodge, a team they could swap positions with if they gained three points.

The match began with Tower Hamlets dominating possession, but failing to get the breakthrough and combine the midfield with the forwards.

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Lodge striker Calvin Poku showed his strength by shoulder barging a defender out of his way and hitting a stinging shot which almost opened the scoring.

Jones had a free header but failed to get enough power to test the keeper, but he wouldn’t be denied as Lodge took the lead oi the 21st minute.

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A free kick on the edge of the box was whipped into the box and Hamlets keeper Jean Manata decided to come and punch, but the ball deflected off a visiting head and fell to Jones, who fired into the empty net.

Hamlets seemed to be losing the midfield battles and struggled with the physicality of their opponents, with their attackers having little service as Lodge kept a hold on things through to the end of the first half.

Lodge almost doubled their lead in the 57th minute, as Larry Asane wernt through one on one, but Manata made himself big to save and kept his side in it.

Moments later, the visitors went close again as Poku’s shot was saved but looked to be falling at the feet of Andrea Montaron, before a last-ditch tackle put him off enough to miss the ball.

Nnamdi Harold-Egole followed up as well, but his shot went wide of the target.

Hamlets almost made them pay for the squandered opportunities in the 74th minute when a good ball through to O’Neal Rowe allowed him to show his speed and strength as he breezed past the centre-backs.

The former Barnet player struck a shot from just inside the box, which looked destined for the bottom corner, but the ball hit the inside of the post and back into play to leave Tower Hamlets players and staff with their heads in their hands.

It was to be the best chance of the match for the hosts and as the game drew to a close it seemed that Lodge were the team pushing for an equaliser as Hamlets couldn’t get up the field.

After a poor showing from his side, manager Ade Abayomi said: ”That was a very disappointing game. I don’t think we deserved to win the game, we didn’t create enough chances for ourselves.

“I didn’t see them creating all that much either and it wasn’t a game for the neutrals. The only chance we had was when O’Neal hit the post and there were times we didn’t play the right ball and held onto it for too long.

“We need to beat these sides if we want to keep away from the relegation area and the only positive we can take from the day is that Sporting Bengal lost as well. If they would have won we would be in the bottom three and that isn’t what we want.”

Next up for Tower Hamlets is a League Challenge cup home tie against Hullbridge Sports on Monday, before a trip to Ilford next weekend.

*Sporting Bengal saw their four-match unbeaten run come to an end with a 2-0 loss against basement boys Burnham Ramblers at Leslie Field.

Imrul Gazi’s men had taken 10 points from a possible 12 to move off the bottom of the table, but succumbed to a side that had gone eight games without success.

Bengal are due to visit Cricklefield Stadium to take on Barkingside on Monday, when admission will be £5 for all, and then host Gursel Gulfer’s men in a quick return at Mile End Stadium next Saturday.

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