Match Report – Langley vs Berks County

Author: Freddie Hale

Langley vs Berks County
Combined Counties League Division One
Saturday 16th March 2024 – 3.00 PM Kick-Off
Honeycroft Stadium

A chance for the MerryMakers to return to their winning ways on Saturday afternoon as they took on Berks County in the Combined Counties Division One League. Langley was sure to start on the front foot but unfortunately, this was not the case. It only took Berks County nineteen minutes before they got their first goal. Lynford Nii Sackey opened the scoring for the away side as a drilled-in cross from the flank found the forward for his effort to be tapped in from a few yards. Langley was forced into an early change after just twenty-five minutes after forward Saweed Djinadou went down off the ball. With Djinadou coming off, he was replaced by the athletic winger Ade Onasanya. Berks County were dominant for most of the first half, with a second goal coming shortly after. Just one minute before the break the away side made it two, keeper Ryan Burke made a great save for the MerryMakers, but it was not enough as the ball was met by Oliver Graham who hit the ball on the rebound to convert it home for County. The half-time whistle went with the MerryMakers needing to create more chances in the second half if they were to change their fortunes in this game. 

An early substitute was made in the second half with defender Zakariya Shabir coming off the field, with Toby Bridges coming on at the back. With the early substitute in the second half, Langley knew they needed to keep pushing to get a result over highflyers Berks County. An opportunity fell to left-back Jack Torbett as attacking midfielder Jason Bloor was fouled just outside the box. With an opportunity to test the Berks County keeper, Jack Torbett did just that. Jack Torbett’s attempt whistled straight into the top corner in the 48th minute with Langley trying to get a foothold of the game. An excellent finish by the fullback who decided to take it upon himself to have a go at goal. Langley kept pushing and pushing in the second half with Langley getting close again on a couple of occasions. It only took another 6 minutes for the MerryMakers to get level in the game as Emmanuel Limpo glided through the whole Berks County team to slot home the equalizer for the home side. The game was very much alive again as Max kept the motivation going to push the boys and get ahead in the game. With the score being level, Langley decided to make another change. This time right back Connor McShane came off the field with Sammy Sillah coming on in his place in the 56th minute. With momentum on a high Langley knew they could get more from this game. Midfielder James Simmonds decided to take it upon himself to attempt a volley at goal which rifled straight past the Berks County keeper to make it 3-2 in the 59th minute. From going two goals down to then going 3-2 up the game, the goals were not going to be stopping anytime soon. Langley thought they had the game in their hands but that did not last for long as Berks County brought the game back to 3-3 after the ball was met by Shaun Wyllie from a cross, with the ball being headed past Burke in goal in the 61st minute. Langley knew they had to regroup and go again as a win here would put pressure on the teams around them. 

In a game with many goals already, Langley scored again to make the game 4-3. Another unbelievable goal by the MerryMakers as Charlie Samuel’s volley was smashed right into the top corner to go ahead in the game in the 69th minute. The momentum was flying after the side went ahead with Langley looking to add more to the 4 goals they had already had in the game. The pressure kept coming and the goals did not stop there with yet another top-quality goal by star man Emmanuel Limpo. A top-tier strike by the midfielder saw Langley go 5-3 up in the 76th minute, with Langley knowing if they won this game, it would be a massive result in their potential hopes of promotion. Manager Max Johnson decided to make a defensive change shortly with goal scorer James Simmonds coming off the pitch in place of Leyton Hill. With Hill on the pitch for not so long, he entered the book for a foul on the Berks County midfielder in the 80th minute. 

If you thought the drama was over you were thinking wrong, when in the 83rd minute Berks County were down to 9 men. With two red cards coming at once. Berks County’s Number 9 Dan Money was sent off for a second yellow after an extremely late foul. With Berks County down to ten now, they were sure not to lose anymore. This was not to be the case. With the Berks County Number 5, Leslie Sackey sent off for using foul language towards the referee, the away side was letting the game get the better of themselves. With six minutes left of added time, Langley was sure to be tight at the back to not invite any pressure among themselves against 9 men County. In the 93rd minute, substitute Leyton Hill was forced to come off the field after injuring his ankle. Langley decided to finish the game with ten against Berks County’s nine. The full-time whistle went with the MerryMakers in jubilation after being two-nil down going into the break and winning the game in style 5-3. An excellent turnaround by the side from Berkshire as they put themselves in with a shot at playoffs. 

Player of the Match: Emmanuel Limpo

Photography by Megan C Thomas
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