On a cloudy Good Friday afternoon at Oakside, Redbridge took on Waltham Forest in another Essex Senior League encounter.
Both sides didn’t take long to get going in this match. Lively Redbridge winger Samuel Phillips attempted an audacious chip wide of the right-side post early on. Home midfielder Sean Kettle headed over the bar soon afterward.
Forest also looked decent in attack as well, with hot-shot Nicki Dembele signalling his intent in the first ten minutes by striking a free-kick just over the bar. In what was becoming a very open match, Redbridge forward Jacob Dingli was twice denied in the same attack by visiting ‘keeper Mohammed Ahmed after being initially set up by strike partner Brian Moses.
Dembele was still dangerous on the counter-attack for Forest though as the we reached the half-hour mark, Redbridge were foiled by a combination of goal-line clearances and the woodwork. Moses hit the post on two occasions with decent strikes, and Dingli’s goal-bound effort was cleared by Forest captain Joshua Banton on the goal-line – those are just three such examples.
Forest went into the break ahead though, as Dembele struck from close range past home ‘keeper Jake Mernagh after a good ball in by full-back Skirmantas Balauka. Redbridge had enough chances to be three or four ahead but as so often happens, the sucker-punch came.
The second half began vigorously as Redbridge levelled just a minute in, with Moses finally netting from close range. You couldn’t say the hosts didn’t deserve it.
Forest didn’t read any script though as just six minutes later, Dembele ran onto a great curling through-ball and coolly slotted past Mernagh to give the visitors the lead for the second time. Though on 56’ Redbridge were on terms as Dingli slotted past Ahmed. You got the feeling there we were on for more goals as well. Just past the hour, Forest winger Salif Konate had a shot saved by Mernagh. Mernagh had to be alert with 20 minutes left as Dembele ghosted in again though the ‘keeper blocked his strike for a corner.
Redbridge kept going into the latter stages though, and late goals from Dingli and forward Adam Hunt sealed the points in what was a cracking match. Must give credit to Waltham Forest who certainly played their part and kept going despite the onslaught of chances Redbridge had in the first half.