Haringey Borough 1 - 0 Corinthian Casuals
Borough emerged victorious at Coles Lane with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Corinthians in the Isthmian Premier Division.
Chiduem Onokwai’s 50th minute strike was enough to earn the three points for the home side. The powerful forward deftly touched the ball over the onrushing keeper before tapping the ball home.
The first-half was an entertaining one, with both sides creating chances but often failing to trouble the goalkeepers at either end of the field.
Edwards went close twice for Borough, firstly with a strike from range and then a header, but it was Onokwai who had the best chance of the half. The striker got on the end of a cross from the left but did not get enough contact on the ball and his glancing effort went wide and the sides went into the interval level.
Corinthians’ dead-ball specialists performed well on the day, forcing Valery into some smart saves including a fantastic low parry to deny a dipping free-kick from just outside the area early in the second half.
Borough’s resolute defence was enough to defend the lead until the full-time whistle and earn them the three points on the day.
Both teams are in action again on Tuesday 13 August as Haringey face Leatherhead and Corinthians take on Merstham.
Bishop’s Stortford 3 - 1 Bognor Regis Town
Bishop’s Stortford also began their league campaign with a home win. Unfortunately for Bognor Regis, some sloppy footwork from the goalkeeper after being thrown the ball was capitalised on by Callander to open the scoring.
However, goalkeeper Durin was off his line quickly to smother a potential chance from a long ball, though pressure continued to mount on the visitors.
The Blues doubled their lead after smart footwork on the right by Renee led to a low cross which was not cleared. Worman squared the ball to Jamie Cureton who could not miss with the net gaping.
A third first-half goal was added by Ryan Charles as the Blues punished some poor passing by Bognor Regis. Cureton and Renee combined well in the build-up before Charles showed excellent footwork and composure to round the keeper while under pressure and tap the ball home.
The game could have been all but over before the halfway mark but for the linesman’s flag denying Cureton his second of the afternoon with a powerful header.
Bognor Regis created more chances in the second-half and Burbidge was called into action to deny Dan Smith’s header at the back post following a diagonal ball. Smith went on to earn a penalty after he was brought down by Robbins following a corner and made no mistake from the spot.
However, Bognor Regis grew into the match too late and the Blues walked away with a deserved three points in their opening game.
Up next for Bishop’s Storford is a trip to Enfield Town, while Bognor Regis face Horsham at home. Both fixtures are scheduled for Tuesday 13 August.
Tower Hamlets 2 - 1 Selsey
Away from league football, Tower Hamlets met Selsey in the extra preliminary round of the FA Cup at Mile End Stadium.
Tower Hamlets opened the scoring in the second minute in style, with a short corner worked superbly to find Anthony Folkes in the area. Folked slid the ball under the goalkeeper to give his side an early advantage.
The rest of the first-half featured end-to-end action and both goalkeepers were forced into saves, but Tower Hamlet’s held their lead heading into half-time.
An unfortunate own-goal levelled the scores shortly after the break as Arben Asllani diverted a cross past the stranded keeper and into his own net.
Folkes restored the lead for the home side with a fantastic finish from the edge of the area. Selsey will have been kicking themselves for sitting back and allowing Tower Hamlets so much time and space on the ball in the build-up to the goal.
A misguided short pass from a goal kick almost led to an equaliser at the death, but Tower Hamlets came out on top in an entertaining cup fixture and have booked their place in the next round, where they will face Horsham FC on Saturday 24 August.
Barkingside 4 -1 Stansted
WDSportz covered more cup action on Saturday as Eastern Counties League South Division team Barkingside took on the Essex Senior League’s Stansted at Cricklefield Stadium.
Stansted produced the better chances early on and took the lead after Rob Norris’ fantastic half-volley from well outside the area looped over the goalkeeper and into the top corner.
Barkingside grew into the game over the rest of the first-half but were unable to find an equaliser until just after the break. Ali Rajim’s low finish after being played in by Dan Jones levelled the scores on 46 minutes.
Full of confidence and now dictating the play, Barkingside took the lead as Francesco Balestrini produced a fantastic finish of his own to volley home off the inside of the post from just outside the area after a deft one-two.
The home side’s elation only increased as Elliot Scott headed home at the back post from Josef Oates’ corner. Oates etched his name onto the score sheet late on to secure the match emphatically after receiving the ball following some fantastic hold-up play and a no-look clip.
Barkingside will face Bowers & Pitsea in the next round on Saturday 24 August.
Josh O’Brien is one of our sports journalists. He currently studies a multimedia sports journalism degree at the UCFB Wembley campus. His previous roles include writing for You are my Arsenal blog, The Sun’s Dream Team app and betting company Kwiff.