Season 2020-21 Match Report: Southend Manor 2 – 1 Woodford Town (Tues 8 Sept) [ESL 20/21 10.9.20]

Essex Senior League

Venue: Southchurch Park

Attendance: TBA

2020-21 Season: Match 7

Tuesday 8th September 2020 – 7.45pm KO

S Manor: Yellow & Black Striped Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks

Woodford : Royal Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks  

Manor grab crucial win late on with an Allen stunner

Southend Manor  2 – 1  Woodford Town

Match Report & Photos by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)

The second match of the Essex Senior season saw me return to Southchurch Park to see Woodford Town’s visit to Southend Manor. Dee Safer’s side were beaten at Hadley on the opening day and their line-up here had the forthcoming FA Cup Prelim Round tie at Waltham Abbey in mind as there was only four survivors from that Hadley game in the starting line-up, James Scammell retained his place in goal, Conor Boon came in to skipper the side at centre-back, with Marcus Painter on the right flank. Zain Moreea was the support to centre forward Rigert Rama. The likes of Andrea Montovani and Jerry Luwero were options from the bench.

Manor also had a tough day as they lost at home to Sawbridgeworth and they named French goalkeeper Klinton Makayabo, with a back four of Joe Elliott, Billy Harrison, Jack Frost and skipper Reece Latimer. The front two were Ronnie Edwards and ex-Hullbridge forward Luca Frankis with Billy Rungay, Darnel Bromfield and Ben Allen on the substitute’s bench.

Onto the match itself, and Woodford were marginally the stronger side, with forwards Rigert Rama and Zain Moreea both having early looks at goal, the latter of which kept home stopper Klinton Makayabo alert. As we entered the midway point of the half, Manor gradually wrestled more of the ball and tentatively went forward, with winger Gianni Frankis sending in a fine centre from the hosts’ right flank to which left-sided winger Deividas Sertivietis’s shot at goal but was blocked by stern Town defender Rob Banfield. Fellow forward Ronnie Edwards also sent a looping header narrowly wide for Manor moments afterward.

Woodford responded as their characteristic pacey breaks down the flanks were aided by crisp long passes forward. Zain Moreea broke past the home backline and crossed in but it took a deflection which allowed Makayabo to gather. This ended up being a warning which Manor did not heed as on the half-hour, Moreea again sped past the Manor midfield and his right-sided run ended with a fine cross which Rama took a touch and fired home from close range. Manor did finish the half quite well as with six minutes left until the break, Gianni Frankis’ header when well-placed was collected by Woodford custodian James Scammell.

Then, three minutes before the interval, Manor did level the match as midfielder Matthew Keiller’s smart, looping header was well guided past Scammell and into the far corner, much to the delight of his team-mates.

Half-Time: Southend Manor  1 – 1  Woodford Town

Into the second half, Woodford once again started to build their passing game as they sought to regain the momentum and the lead, as ever noisily backed by the Towners’ faithful who once again sang throughout. Barely a minute after the half began, the impressive Moreea again showed his pace and trickery down the right channel, but his strike didn’t seriously trouble Makayabo in the Manor goal.

From this point, the visiting defence steadily became more and more active as Craig Waters’ team searched for the advantage. Town centre-back Conor Boon did well in marshalling his defence to clear crosses into the 18-yard box. Manor forward Luca Frankis had a header from close range saved by Scammell and brother Gianni Frankis also struck wide of the left-side post either side of the hour mark.

As we entered the latter stages of the game, the tension rose as it appeared both sides just wouldn’t be able to create the moment of magic to win the game. Home skipper Reece Latimer did drive his side forward and with five minutes left, they got their reward. Substitute Ben Allen had found his way into the right-sided channel outside the penalty area before lashing home and unstoppable strike which Scammell was powerless to stop going into the top-left corner. The hosts still had to hold on in the last few minutes as Rama sent a drive from about 15 yards but Makayabo was equal to it. After a few nervy minutes of added time, the final whistle blew and the Southend side got their first points of the season.

Full-Time:  Southend Manor  2 – 1  Woodford Town

In my view, this was a tight match which both sides could have won. Manor maybe just edging it because of their second-half display here. But you also have to note how Woodford did well despite a number of changes in this game, which in turn highlights the philosophy of how they play, a big credit to manager Dee Safer and his coaching team. In terms of stand-out performers, Manor were indebted to right winger Gianni Frankis who showed himself to be a willing runner and had pace and crossing ability. Skipper Reece Latimer, midfielder Matthew Keiller and forward Ronnie Edwards also deserve a mention for being part of the spine of the side that showed urgency to get the win.

Woodford also had a number of players that stood out, with tricky forward Zain Moreea growing in confidence with his pace and crossing, forward Rigert Rama also was a quick threat throughout. Mentions also go to winger Marcus Painter who played his part in the Town attacking moves, along with centre-back Conor Boon and full-back David Ola who also sent in a few telling long balls forward during the match. As ever, I wish both sides well for this long season.

Teams

Southend Manor   | Manager: Craig Waters  | Assistant: Garry Pond

1 Klinton Makayabo (GK), 2 Joe Elliott, 3 Billy Harrison, 4 Jack Frost, 5 Liam Jarrett (13 Billy Rungay 69’), 6 Reece Latimer (Capt), 7 Gianni Frankis (15 Ben Allen 74’), 9 Ronnie Edwards, 10 Luca Frankis (14 Darnel Bromfield 67’), 11 Deividas Sertvietis

Goal-scorers: Matthew Keiller [42’], Ben Allen [85’]

Booked: Bromfield   | Subs Not Used: Rogers, Acquah (GK)

Woodford Town    | Manager: Dee Safer | Assistant: Wayne St Louis

1 James Scammell (GK), 2 Joseph St-Luce Moynihan, 3 David Ola, 4 Aaron Matomisa (15 Dimi Kapsokostas 77’), 5 Conor Boon (Capt), 6 Rob Banfield, 7 Marcus Painter, 8 Harry Markatis, 9 Rigert Rama, 13 Zain Moreea (17 Alex Awobimpe 77’), 11 Cameron St Louis (14 Jerry Luwero 12’)

Goal-scorer: Rigert Rama [30’]

Booked: Rama, Luwero | Subs Not Used: Empochonstif, Montovani

Referee:  Kirk Edwards

Assistant Referees: Benjamin Horne & Robert Collins