Essex Senior League
2019 – 20 Season: Match 9
Wednesday 7th August 7.45pm KO
Hashtag Utd: Yellow & Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Yellow Socks
S Manor: White & Red Shirts, White Shorts, White Socks
Manor out-perform Hashtag to complete memorable win
Hashtag Utd 0 – 2 Southend Manor
Report & Photos by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)
The second of the new season’s Essex Senior League matches took me to Tilbury FC’s Chadfields, the new home of last season’s Eastern Senior League South champions, not forgetting social media heavyweights Hashtag Utd. Jay Devereux’s team made their bow in the ESL here, facing established ESL side Southend Manor. The hosts fielded a mixture of youth and experience, with recent signing George Smith leading the line, with a supporting trio of Albert Keith, veteran Neil Richmond and Ryan Adams, who also skippered the side. Tricky winger Harry Honesty and centre-back Farai Tsingano were among the substitutes.
Manor began their campaign with a narrow loss at home to Sporting Bengal four days previously and retained Hullbridge loanee Jacob Adams between the sticks with Kiah Froud and Connor Burrows at centre-back and Larry Akanbi as their number nine. Jordan Chambers reverted to left-back and was named captain here.
The hosts began with decent passing moves in the early throngs of this match as they looked to set the tone early. Manor also ‘set their stall’ out to be combative in defence and push forward on the counter-attack. Twelve minutes into the contest, Manor winger Callum Fitzer made a speedy jinking run down the left flank and got his effort on goal though it drifted wide of the left-side post. Right on the quarter-hour, Utd responded as from a free-kick, midfielder Lee Hursit’s powerful effort kept visiting custodian Jacob Adams interested before it fizzed wide of the woodwork at pace. By about this point, the visiting backline had their fair share of defending to do though they remained alert to the danger.
With twenty minutes on the watch, Manor were awarded a penalty as winger Mekhi Hyde was felled in the 18-yard area. Hyde stepped up to take the spot-kick himself after a short delay, which saw Tags right-back Cain Brougham booked for the foul. Hyde made no mistake, his penalty evading the grasp of home stopper Tim Pitman who had guessed the right way but was unable to keep things level. Adam Peek’s side were having their best phase of the game so far going forward at this stage, with Fitzer again breaking through the home defence though when one-on-one with Pitman, the ‘keeper did well to smother the angle in denying his strike. Manor did increase their lead though with 27 minutes gone, with Larry Akanbi netting with a cool finish, under pressure in the area.
Hashtag responded moments later as anchor midfielder Ricky Evans’s header failed to hit the target from a corner just shy of the half-hour mark. Forward George Smith, who signed from Coggeshall Utd in the summer, was the bright spark for the home side in attack, stretching the visiting defence at times. With half-time approaching, Smith’s well-struck effort was parried by Manor goalkeeper Adams, though home winger Ryan Adams could only blaze over the rebound.
Half-Time: Hashtag Utd 0 – 2 Southend Manor
Manor were standing firm with their hard-earned lead at the break, though you sensed Hashtag needed to raise their game somewhat. Winger Joshua Osude came on at the start of the second-half to add more pace and trickery on the right-flank. The opening phase of the second period was a little muted although that soon ended when winger Harry Honesty entered the field of play, coming on for Richmond. Honesty showed no shortage of pace and trickery down the left wing though unfortunately for the hosts, his crosses couldn’t find a teammate in a promising position in the area.
As we entered the latter stages of this exciting encounter, Smith had a close-range header for the hosts well-cleared on the goal-line as the Manor defence remained vigilant and determined. Hashtag midfielder Albert Keith also piled in a 25-yard drive though Adams got across well to gather. With full-time was approaching, you couldn’t say the hosts were not putting in the effort with Osude and Honesty good outlets on the flanks.
Full-Time: Hashtag Utd 0 – 2 Southend Manor
In summary, you could not fault the gutsy and hard-working visitors who deserved their win here. Centre-back Kiah Froud marshalled the defence well and made several decent interceptions to assist Manor to the win. Larry Akanbi also led the line well, with good support from Callum Fitzer & Mekhi Hyde, among others. It was certainly a team effort by them and although the hosts may be disappointed by the result, they will be comforted by the fact that we had an enthusiastic crowd of nearly 300 in attendance here. One thing I do not doubt is that they will return stronger for the experience here and may even be good for them in the long run.
Finally, I’d like to thank Hashtag for the welcome tonight and wish them well for the season. It certainly looks like an interesting journey for them once again.
Hashtag Utd | Manager: Jay Devereux
Tim Pitman (GK), Cain Brougham (Joshua Osude 46’), Jack Martin (Farai Tsingano 78’), Okuwute Izuchukwu, Ross Gleed, Ricky Evans, Albert Keith, Lee Hursit, Ryan Adams (Capt), George Smith, Neil Richmond (Harry Honesty 57’)
Booked: Brougham, Smith, Osude | Subs Not Used: Clarke (GK), Isa
Southend Manor | Manager: Adam Peek
Jacob Adams (GK), Josh Brocklebank, Jordan Chambers (Capt), Jordon Fisher, Kiah Froud, Connor Burrows, Mekhi Hyde (Max Makaka 63’), Alfie Walker, Larry Akanbi (Harry Rogers 77’), Brad Rowland, Callum Fitzer (Ope Mosuro 87’)
Goal-scorers: Mekhi Hyde [pen 20’], Larry Akanbi [27’]
Booked: Rowland, Makaka | Sub Not Used: Evident, Rungay
Referee: Leigh Ballinger