Aveley play-off hopes dented by battling Barkingside

Thurrock Gazette: Aveley play-off hopes dented by battling Barkingside Aveley play-off hopes dented by battling Barkingside

By Scott Hatley

 

Barkingside all but ended Aveley's hopes of reaching the Ryman North play-offs by deservedly beating the Millers 2-0 at the Oakside.

Goals from Matt Gulfer and Calvin Poku secured a vital three points for Matthew Frew’s side in their fight against relegation.

The performance will disappoint manager Justin Gardner who was hoping to see a reaction from his side after Saturday’s defeat to Heybridge Swifts.

Although Aveley started well the final ball eluded them all evening, with Barkingside’s captain Gulfer putting the hosts in front after just 14 minutes direct from a free kick.

The introduction of Kyle Asante and Petrit Elbi in the second half was an attempt by Gardner to reinvigorate his attack, who’d been unable to really trouble the Barkingside back line up until then.

But Elbi’s night only lasted 14 minutes as the Millers striker was shown his second red card in the space of a week for a stamp on Matt Waldron.

Aveley will now be without Elbi for up to seven matches after consecutive dismissals for violent conduct and Poku’s curling effort in the second minute of injury time only compounded Gardner’s misery as his side suffered back to back defeats.

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