Another unlucky, wet and cold evening on our bogey ground in East 17.
With a number of key players stranded on the Victoria Line and various casualties from the weekend we were forced to start with 8 men. We battled away bravely and held out for the first 10 minutes until we managed to increase our numbers to 10, albeit still a man down to the opposition and with the wind and the referee against us. Ironically this is when we conceded our first goal. A shocking decision (what would be one of many) by the referee lead to a SH free kick just outside our area. A well dispatched curling shot over the wall gave Bushy no chance. 1-0.
Five minutes later their striker was played through one-on-one with the on-rushing keeper, managed to dispatch a shot wide and then fell over the keeper. The ref awarded a dubious penalty which was well taken and gave the keeper no chance. 2-0.
Barlows battled away well and didn't let their man disadvantage show. Some nice interplay between Tom and Greeny on the edge of the box, saw Greeny curl in a fine effort from 20 yards. 2-1 game on. With the half-time whistle about to blow, Grant blocked a fierce shot on the line which was hit straight at him. It was definitely a case of ball to hand and gave the opposition a fortunate second penalty. The referee was card happy on the night and booked any protests. A fantastic save low to his left by Bushy kept BLG in the game and the half ended 2-1.
With the wind now in our favour Barlows dominated the second half even with 10 men and equalised after Simon Jones was hacked down in the area. Grant had the ball on the spot before our protests had finished and dispatched the penalty Stuart Pearce style into the net. Cue Stuart Pearce style psycho celebration. 2-2 and back from the dead with 10 men! We were looking like the side that would go on to win the game pinning the opposition back in their half and pushing hard for the winner. Then with about 10 minutes to go, their striker timed his run well to beat the off-side trap and slotted the ball past the keeper which agonisingly bobbled into the net off the post which was probably their only shot of the second half. 3-2, harsh. Barlows battled away for the equaliser for the last 10 minutes and had a number of efforts which just went wide of the post. The ref blew the final whistle on a night where numbers and the referee were both against Barlows which gave us little chance of beating a team which we clearly would have beaten comfortably with a full team.
Overall a brave performance by those who managed to drag themselves down to Walthamstow and give it their all for the team. It was disappointing after having a squad of 15 players available on Friday, we struggled to field a starting XI. 3 points definitely lost which we should have won.
Expecting a better turn out for the game next Monday which is back at Battersea.
Bushy; Grant (aka Psycho), Tom G-S, Piers (Pears/ Peers - however the ref tried to spell it), Dom; Jonesy, Jojo, Tom, Monster; Greeny.