Eastern Senior League – Division South
Venue: Park Lane
2021-22 Season: Match 62
Saturday 19 March 2022 – 3pm KO
Benfleet: Sky Blue Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts, Navy Blue Socks
Brimsdown: White Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks
Brimsdown put in spirited performance to take valuable draw at Benfleet
Benfleet 2 – 2 Brimsdown
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
The main match this weekend was a fascinating match in Eastern Senior League South as Benfleet welcomed bottom side Brimsdown. Both sides needed the win, albeit for very different reasons and the home side were looking to recover from a frustrating loss to title-chasing Ipswich Wanderers three days previously. Brimsdown really needed the points to gain ground on their rivals. Benfleet named regular goalkeeper Florent Gislette in goal, with a defence of Billy Carter, Joe Hunter plus centre-backs Martyn Lacey, Cameron Harris and Mckenzie Davidson. Ben Foord and Billy Bonham-Dare led the line, with support from Robert Lacey and Aaron Russell, who skippered the side. Brimsdown had Akan George in goal, with Mauro Rodrigues and Adelmar Rodrigues in central defence, captain Ali Tas as the creative midfielder alongside Simeon Beckford, with Damon Rendell leading the line. Supporting him were Zion Dos Santos and Samuel Kyei.
The match began with the home side looking to push on and they were rewarded. On five minutes, full-back Billy Carter made a good run down the right side and his centre found skipper Aaron Russell in a congested penalty area, unfortunately Russell could not connect properly and in the blink of an eye, the chance was gone. However, Brimsdown did not heed that warning as two minutes later, Benfleet did get the opening goal. A set-piece from the right found centre-back Cameron Harris at the back post and his towering header bypassed visiting custodian Akan George and found the net. That was definitely not in the visitors’ game plan pre-match.
Benfleet nearly had a glimmer of a second goal on ten minutes as a good run by forward Billy Bonham-Dare was deflected off a defender into the path of George at some pace, but the Brimsdown ‘keeper did well to gather. However, anyone who prescribed to the theory that this was going to be a comfortable win for the hosts was soon to be proven wrong. While it was true that interim boss Robert Rook’s side were having a lot of possession, they were not really doing that much with it. as Brimsdown were clearing their lines well. Ben Foord also spurned a half-chance for the hosts but curiously, their momentum were starting to fade which the visitors did sense as we got into the latter part of the half.
They had very few in the way of chances on goal up to this point though just after the half-hour, Reon Reid made a fine darting run on the right flank, with his centre deflected for a corner. Soon after, the lack of chances was immaterial as Brimsdown got an important equaliser on thirty-five minutes. A good cross deep from the right flank by Simeon Beckford found forward Damon Rendell and his powerful header found the net well, past Benfleet stopper Florent Gislette. All of a sudden, the visitors were galvanized by the leveller and they sensed that the hosts wanted to get back to the dressing rooms for the half-time team talk in a hurry.
Half-Time: Benfleet 1 – 1 Brimsdown
As we resumed after the interval, the intent was clear from the home side, as two substitutes came on immediately into the second half. Frankie Stone and Jack Frost had replaced Joe Hunter and goal-scorer Harris respectively. Unfortunately for Benfleet, they couldn’t re-establish their impetus from early on in the game by creating a variety of clear-cut chances. Foord had another decent effort on fifty-three minutes, firing wide of George’s left-side post. Besides that, Brimsdown were admirably holding firm although the concern for them would have been whether they could maintain it.
We had another dramatic turn of events on sixty-five minutes as a well-worked corner by captain Ali Tas found Samuel Kyei who found some space before powering in a superb strike low into the left corner, giving Gislette little chance of stopping it. Brimsdown had the lead, and now Benfleet had to battle their way not only into the ascendancy but crucially, back into the match on the score-sheet along with it. In fairness, the hosts here showed no lack of work rate or endeavour, but as the minutes ticked by, it was looking likely that Brimsdown were going to claim a highly valuable win in their battle to evade the drop.
There was another twist in the match as we approached added-time. Benfleet got a precious equaliser as a good ball in from the right found substitute Frankis Stone who showed no lack of composure to guide his header into the net on 89 minutes. It was hard on Brimsdown though it could’ve been worse for them moments later. Foord went down in the penalty area, after a challenge by Adelmar Rodrigues but referee Paul Sturton was not minded to point to the spot.
The visitors did hold on to claim a worthy point here, though their frustration will be that it could have been all three points. If they do play like this for the remaining five matches this term, they may not finish bottom of the table. Benfleet will need to garner some wins in their remaining six games, with Wivenhoe Town, Burnham Ramblers and Halstead Town still battling them in the play-off area.
Full-Time: Benfleet 2 – 2 Brimsdown
In summary, Brimsdown put in a very good display here and made the most of the relatively few chances they had and crucially, their confidence in the match grew just as they sensed their hosts’ confidence was ebbing away. Defensively, Steve Wakefield’s side did well and could have grabbed an unlikely victory, though they were denied late on. You do have to credit the spirit of the Benfleet side, they refused to give up despite their performance not being of the standards they would set themselves.
There were several creditable performances from both sides in this match. Firstly for Brimsdown, centre-back Adelmar Rodrigues was a stand-out player for his side, making a number of important interceptions and showed good energy and positional awareness. Reon Reid had a really good game, making a number of good darting runs down the right channel and put in some good crosses with it, as well as good defensive work. Forward Damon Rendell took his goal really well and generally gave the home defence a hard afternoon with his movement, while Zion Dos Santos also merits a mention for good, energetic play down the left side and that lifted his team at an important time before the interval.
For Benfleet, midfielder Henry Sims had a good game, showing good work rate, good set-pieces and generally had a good influence for his team. Forward Billy Bonham-Dare also stretched a resolute Brimsdown backline well at times with good ace and movement, but will want goals to turn up soon. Also, full-back Billy Carter put in a good hard-working display, making a number of energetic runs down the right channel to give his side extra width. Finally, substitute Frankie Stone got that last-gasp leveller which could prove to be a important moment of composure for him and his team.
Best wishes to both sides for the remainder of the season.
Benfleet | Interim Managers: Robert Rook & Mike Cundy | (Manager Rob Polkinghorn was away)
Starting XI (Subs): 1 Florent Gislette (GK), 2 Billy Carter, 3 Joe Hunter (12 Frankie Stone 46’), 4 Mckenzie Davidson, 5 Cameron Harris (15 Jack Frost 46’), 6 Martyn Lacey, 7 Billy Bonham-Dare, 8 Henry Sims (14 Mason Shave 81’), 9 Aaron Russell (Capt), 10 Robert Lacey, 11 Ben Foord
Goal-scorers: Cameron Harris [7’], Frankie Stone [89’]
Booked: Russell | Subs Not Used: Hurford, Scott
Brimsdown | Manager: Steve Wakefield
Starting XI (Subs): 1 Akan George (GK), 8 Reon Reid, 3 Mauro Rodrigues, 5 Adelmar Rodrigues, 9 Pianny Nzamale, 2 Emre Tas, 7 Ali Tas (Capt), 4 Simeon Beckford (15 Masoor Nooristani 79’), 18 Zion Dos Santos, 10 Damon Rendell, 11 Samuel Kyei
Goal-scorers: Damon Randell [35’], Samuel Kyei [65’]
Booked: None | Subs Not Used: None
Referee: Paul Sturton
Assistants: Ian Butler & Michael Jarvis