Waltham Forest 2-2 Barkingside

Forest took a point from fellow strugglers Barkingside in a real ‘game of two halves’, but individual mistakes once again cost them dear.

Kieren King returned to the Forest back line for the first time since making his debut in 2007, and there was also a start for Necati Gench.

But the home side got off to a disastrous start with just three minutes played, as Aaron Hunwicks’ shanked corner appeared to evade everyone and creep in at the front post.

Forest could have equalised straight from the re-start as Paul Scott was quickest to react to a poorly cleared cross. But after his initial effort was saved, his follow-up was blocked on the line by a Barkingside arm. The referee was unmoved, later saying he did not have a clear view of the incident.

The home side struggled throughout the first half, and we punished for their sloppiness as Roddy Lemba pounced on King’s short backpass to nick the ball and blast it into an empty net.

Forest did have one bright moment before the break, as Asher Modeste made a bit of room for himself before closing in on goal. His touch wrong-footed the last defender who took him down, but only received a caution.

As with Saturday, Forest came out for the second half with far more purpose and were soon back in the game. Christian Owusu was put in down the right wing, and it looked for all the world like he’d be given a penalty after being taken down when clean through on goal. Everyone seemed to stop, waiting the inevitable, except Paul Scott, who picked up the loose ball, held off a defender and curled a beautiful effort into the top corner from just inside the box.

And seven minutes later, the scores were level. Following some good build-up play, Ryan Maxwell dinked a through ball into the path of Owusu who smashed it past the dazed keeper from the corner of the six yard box.

The leveler spurred Side into action, and most of the remainder of the second half was a tough, physical affair in midfield.

Lewis Hewitt then had Forest’s third huge shout for a penalty turned down when he was pushed over when clean through on goal.

Both sides had chances in the final 30 seconds with crosses narrowly missing their targets.

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