West London is red tonight as Barnes stormed to victory today with a 3-4 win over hosts Junction Elite 3rd XI at Kings House Sports Ground. Barnes Stormers FC ran out winners in a hotly contested Dylan Rigobert Trophy match against former league counterparts Junction Elite 3rd XI.
Despite a couple of notable drop outs from the matchday squad, Barnes started well with the returning club captain Ben Theobald and goalkeeper Billy Nicolaou rejoining the starting XI. The passing started well and there was good communication across the back 5 as Barnes moved the ball around well. Junction Elite did as well though and two long passes later left their striker to superbly take a first time volley to score the opener. Unfortunately a poor decision to chat to the ref from midfielder Ash Bertram led to him being booked very early on in the game. A few rocky moments and a fantastic goal line clearance from Tom Jackson saw Barnes keep Junction Elite at bay. Undeterred, Stormers kept on pushing and George was able to get two well taken goals in the first half, one header and one slotted home from inside the penalty area. Not long after and Ash was booked for the second time meaning the Stormers were down to 10 men with a good 60 minutes of the match to play. The Stormers were able to ride out the final minutes of the first half to take a 1-2 half time lead.
A half time pep talk to continue playing at a high intensity, working hard for each other and staying disciplined to try and manage the second half kept the boys focussed on the task at hand. Barnes made a couple of changes shortly into the second half with Bricey coming into the central defence and Rhys Williams into the midfield - a bit of a higher altitude for our usual left back!
Both teams kept fighting and Junction Elite pulled back a second goal to take it to 2-2. With 10 men and the game level, it would have been easy for Barnes to roll over and lay blame on the fact they were playing so long with a man less but they increased the tempo and went looking for goals. A smart pass from Tom Jackson to George Fry left Abdi in the box who was fouled and penalty awarded. Abdi was on top form today as he gave the penalty to George who was able to slot home and complete his well-deserved hat-trick.
With renewed vigour, Barnes continued to attack and this time Abdul was fouled on the edge of the box. Lleyton who has been known to score from similar distances stepped up to take and he powered it through a gap in the wall to score the Stormer's 4th goal of the day. At 2-4, Barnes maybe took their foot off the gas and a lack of concentration allowed a fizzed corner to beat the men at the front and knocked in. Barnes regrouped and saw out the final few minutes to secure a famous end of season victory to end their 20/21 campaign.
"The boys were superb today, every single man out there played with his heart on his sleeve and wanted to do everything possible to win. Even with a team mate getting sent off against opposition in a higher division, no one let their heads drop. Infact it probably made us more determined to keep working and show what we're made of to secure that victory!" said player manager Tom Jackson. " I couldn't be happier for George Fry, a hat-trick today takes him to 5 goals in 2 games. This kid is going places and has a really bright future with us at Barnes Stormers!".
Hat-trick hero George Fry leaves player manager Tom Jackson hanging after scoring his third goal of the game.