Eastern Senior League – Division South
Venue: Parkside [3G]
2021-22 Season: Match 57
Wednesday 16th February 2022 – 7.45pm KO
May & Baker: Black & White Shirts, Black Shorts, White Socks
Benfleet: Red Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks
‘Bakers battle well in tough conditions to claim good win at Parkside
May & Baker 3 – 1 Benfleet
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
An additional match in the season’s journey was played at Parkside, as i finally got the chance to watch May & Baker at their current ‘home’ ground as they welcomed fellow play-off chasing side Benfleet in the Eastern Senior League South. The artifical playing surface came in handy given the terrible weather this week and I can certainly see why several ground-hoppers like this ground with its stadium feel. Bakers had Frankie Worboyes in goal, with a back four of Cain Brougham, Jamie Marsh, George Breen and Kunle Adeyemi. Daniel Whitehead led the forward line, with Anthony Cooke and Robert Bagnall in support. Benfleet named Florent Gislette between the posts, with full-backs Billy Carter and Joe Hunter and a forward line of captain Aaron Russell, Danny Hurford and Mason Shave. The influential forward Ben Foord had to withdraw after pulling up with a niggle during the warm-up.
The match began with a fairly subdued start as both sides had to adapt to high winds and accompanying rain, which came through during most of the match. It was the visitors who had a fair amount of ball retention in those early stages, with full-back Billy Carter making some good runs down the right channel and forward Danny Hurford getting into some good positions in the 18-yard area, which nearly ended up with the latter getting on the end of good cross from the right side. Jordan Harris & Alec Simm’s side did get their way back into the game in the possession stakes, even if clear chances eluded both teams in the first part of the game.
However, as we got into the second part of the first half, Bakers forward Daniel Whitehead was looking a good threat for the hosts, and fired a good strike at goal which visiting custodian Florent Gislette did well to parry at his far post. The atmosphere was getting a little tense, with the match needing a goal and with Bakers continuing to have the better of the ball time, it duly arrived eight minutes before the interval.
From a set-piece, it was well connected with from a powerful header from centre-back Jamie Marsh and said header gave Gislette zero chance of preventing it finding the corner. Of course, the goal lifted the home side and Gislette also had to punch central mdfielder Robert Bagnall’s free-kick away from danger on the stroke of half-time. May & Baker were edging it at this point, as Benfleet looked decent on the ball but struggled to create chances.
HT: May & Baker 1 – 0 Benfleet
After the resumption, Benfleet had a good start to the second period but were thwarted as Martyn Lacey continued a good run and placed the ball low into the net past home stopper Frankie Worboyes – though it didn’t count as referee Joshua Evans had already signalled a free-kick for the hosts, presumably for an off-side. Visiting forward Danny Hurford was also putting in some good crosses in fron the left, and one of those narrowly missed the advancing run of Carter just wide of the back post. Bakers soon wrestled back possession and doubled their lead on 53 minutes. The impressive Idris Aminu made another fine darting run down the left channel before finding Whitehead with an instinctive low pass, which Whitehead controlled well and sent a fine curling drive right into the corner, evading the grasp of Gislette.
Benfleet had the pressure squarely on them at this point to launch a comeback but unfortunately, forwards Mason Shave and skipper Aaron Russell were somewhat isolated and the determined home backline were giving little away either. Indeed, it was not a big surprise when May & Baker got their third goal midway into the second half. Darren Seymour made the most of a good counter by the hosts, and he found Whitehead who again finished calmly past Gislette, low into the net.
Benfleet did to their credit, keep the focus going in the latter stages to get themselves back into the contest, and Hurford’s goal-bound effort did require Worboyes to be alert and save. Unfortunately for Robert Polkinghorn’s team, said comeback was a forlorn prospect by the time Russell broke free of the Bakers defence and clawed back a consolation goal with a low drive past Worboyes in added time.
Full-Time: May & Baker 3 – 1 Benfleet
All in all, this was a good performance by May & Baker, who played some good stuff at times despite the challenging conditions (a hefty wind and bands of rain). They created the better chances and made the most of a uncharacteristic display by Benfleet in which they rarely threatened Worboyes’ goal. Losing two players in the warm-up I understand did hit them hard though they will need to be more creative & more clinical going forward to get the points they desire to secure that top-five finish. Bakers are not out of the running for those play-offs either and if they can keep playing like this, they may well be in with a good chance.
As ever, there were good performances worthy of note for both sides. Firstly for visitors May & Baker, forward Daniel Whitehead certainly made a difference for his side in scoring two good goals and played a good role in his side’s forward moves too, showing good pace and movement. Winger Idris Aminu made several good darting runs down the left side, adding fine passing to his team’s moves and got a fine assist. Centre-back Jamie Marsh got a fine goal and typified his side’s defending as well, showing good positioning. Lastly, full-back Kunle Adeyemi put in an energetic display, looking to set the tone with passing as well.
For Benfleet, forwards Danny Hurford and Aaron Russell showed moments of good passing and movement, with full-back Billy Carter put in a good shift, making several good runs down the right flank. Also, custodian Florent Gislette made two good saves to keep his team in the game in the first half.
Finally, I’d like to wish both teams a good remainder of the season.
May & Baker | Joint-Managers: Jordan Harris & Alec Simm |
Starring XI (Subs): 1 Frankie Worboyes (GK), 2 Cain Brougham, 3 Kunle Adeyemi, 5 Jamie Marsh, 6 George Breen, 4 Kane Messenger (Capt), 8 Robert Bagnall (17 Josh Lowbridge 83′), 7 Darren Seymour (15 Kalum Bama 77′), 9 Daniel Whitehead, 10 Anthony Cooke (16 Abidemi Lamina 70′), 11 Idris Aminu
Goal-scorers: Jamie Marsh [37′], Daniel Whitehead [53′ & 67′]
Booked: None | Subs Not Used: Rodrigues, Riddell (GK)
Benfleet | Manager: Robert Polkinghorn | Assistant: Robert Rook
Starting XI (Subs): 1 Florent Gislette (GK), 2 Billy Carter, 3 Joe Hunter (15 Lee Scott 68′), 4 Stephen Ellery (16 Jack Frost 75′), 5 Cameron Harris, 6 Martyn Lacey, 7 Henry Sims, 8 Taylor Lawrence, 9 Mason Shave, 10 Aaron Russell (Capt), 11 Danny Hurford
Goal-scorer: Aaron Russell [90’+1]
Booked: Harris | Subs Not Used: Stone, Dickinson
Referee: Joshua Evans
Assistants: Craig Wood & Abu Taher