Football: Barnsley on target as Barnston claim draw at Little Oakley

Barnston's man-of-the-match Ben Barnsley. Barnston's man-of-the-match Ben Barnsley.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014
9:22 PM

Barnston’s growing confidence took another shot in the arm as the team claimed a creditable 1-1 draw at high-flying Little Oakley.

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Bouyed by last week’s 4-1 win over Dedham Old Boys, Barnston boss Luke Nash, who handed a debut to Graham Riegate and also had Tom Hancock back after nine weeks out injured, always believed his team could get something from the game.

The had lost 4-0 in the reverse fixture back in October, but put in a vastly better performance and on another day might even have taken all three points..

“We now look like a team that is gaining in confidence from week to week,” said Nash.

“We were forced into a few team changes prior to the game but it did not affect the performance of the team overall. It was a great debut from Graham Riegate at centre half.”

Little Oakley, who started the day in fourth place in the table, started brightly and forced a series of corners. But it was not long before Barnston showed their intent and forced the first save from the home keeper when a Charlie Harris header was forced wide.

Chances came and went at either end but it was the hosts who took the lead on 40 minutes. Hitting Barnston with a counter attack, they worked the ball out to the left. The initial shot was saved by keeper Charlie Turner but the rebound was followed up and put away.

Barnston came out for the second half with a change to their shape and forced some half chances very early on.

The equaliser came from a set piece. Dan Norris floated the free kick into the Oakley penalty area and Ben Barnsley rose highest to flick the ball past the home keeper into the net from 12 yards.

It was then all Barnston. They had the ball in the net again when Phil Frances headed across the box and it may have been going in when Harris dived in and made sure, but the flag went up for offside.

Both sides fought hard for the winner but the game finished level.

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