May & Baker and White Ensign kicked off the Thurlow Nunn Division 1 South season with a highly entertaining fixture at Parkside.
Bakers started the game on the front foot and should have gone ahead in the 9th minute when Ricky Teixeira’s cross shot found its way to Carl Patten 4 yards out and with an open goal the usually reliable striker leant back whilst on the stretch and put the ball over the crossbar.
That was about as good as it got in the opening exchanges as White Ensign began to dominate and had a couple of good opportunities well thwarted by goalkeeper Frankie Worboyes.
In the 22nd minute Ensign took a deserved lead when Jamie Pooley headed his own net when under pressure following a corner.
Ensign then had several more good opportunities to extend their lead with the dangerous Conner Barnby finding joy in the channel between Baker’s skipper Scott O’Connor and makeshift fullback Kai Warren.
It was one way traffic and Ensign were threatening to run away with the half and had more joy with cross field balls into the channel but Worboyes did well to deny a couple of rasping efforts.
Against the run of play in the 34th minute Baker’s equalised. Some neat passing in the midfield ended with Ben Saunders beating the offside trap and coolly slotting home past Ensign keeper James Parkins.
Baker’s had Ensign pushed back in their half as they looked to take control but it was Ensign who should have gone in at half time ahead as John Hilliard headed against the post from an acute angle with the goal gaping and it was all square at the half time interval.
3 minutes after the restart and Ensign were awarded a penalty when Warren fouled Barnby when through on goal after a clever inside pass between O’Connor and Warren saw him broke free. Skinner stepped up and sent Worboyes the wrong way.
Barnby almost added another for Ensign but Worboyes again was equal to it. Ricky Teixeira then had a great chance to equalise but sliced his effort wide.
Bakers then equalised for the second time and it was Saunders again. He latched on to an error in the Ensign backline and chipped the ball beyond the onrushing Parkins.
Bakers were now on top and with 20 minutes to go were pushing for the winner. A scramble in the box wouldn’t fall kindly and then a dangerous cross from substitute Dan Barth someone eluded everyone and went behind for a goal kick.
Teixeira then had a glorious opportunity to win it for Baker’s with 8 minutes remaining when he was put through by Saunders. But he took an extra touch and couldn’t get his shot off and Ensign managed to clear the ball.
Ensign were then so close to a winner with 2 chances from a corner and again Worboyes made the save. Player manager Brett Munyard also going close and he Too was thwarted by Worboyes.
With the last action of the game Baker’s won it. Ensign now looking to score the winner from a corner in the final minute which Worboyes came and collected. He then sent a long kick in the direction of the pacy Barth who forced an error from the defender and rifled a half volley from the edge of the box into the net to win the match.
That was the final action with the whistle going as soon as the game restarted to give Baker’s their first 3 points of the season. A very harsh result on White Ensign who were on top for large parts of the game and were good value for at least a point.
We look forward to the return league fixture which is only a few weeks away.
Thank you to the large crowd down who came down to Parkside for our first home fixture this season and we hope to see many of you again over the coming weeks.