S20-21 So Far: Club In-Focus – Southend Manor [20-21 CIF 29.11.20]

Southend Manor club crest

Written By Scott W  [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and welcome the sixth and penultimate article in this current series of  ‘Club In-Focus’ blogs where figures in the Grassroots & Non-League game fill us in on their season so far and also recite some chosen moments from recent seasons too.

In this article, I caught up with Southend Manor boss Craig Waters who took the post about a year ago. Manor had a tough season last time out but are holding steady in mid-table at time of writing.

SW: 1. Hello Craig, firstly can I thank you for your time. We’ll begin with marking the first anniversary of your appointment at Southend Manor, along with your assistant Garry Pond. How has the journey been so far in that time? 

CW: The journey so far has been tough but also enjoyable, I have really enjoyed my time at Southend Manor so far and have also enjoyed working with Garry [Pond] and all my management team as well as all the players.

SW: 2. How has the first two months of the season been as a management team, under the shadow of Covid-19 rules?

CW: Coaching under the Covid rules has been very different and challenging at times but everyone at the club have been fantastic and we are getting through it. the same as every other club.

SW: 3. At the season break, Manor are in ninth place on sixteen points, just four points away from the top three. Which sides have stood out for you in Essex Senior in the first two months of this campaign? 

CW: “For me, Walthamstow have stood out so far this season, they play some nice football at times and with the attacking players they have, they won’t have any problems scoring goals, they will surely be in the top two come the end of the season I feel”.

———-

SW: 4. For those that aren’t that familiar with your squad, forward Luca Frankis and midfielder Ben Allen have both amassed three league goals so far this season. Who are the players in the side that really make the team drive on?

CW: To be honest there’s not one stand-out player who drives the team on, all the lads play their part and the togetherness and team spirit is fantastic which has shown with some of the results we have had so far this season.

SW: 5. Away from Football, what are your sporting interests?

CW: Football and family that’s all I do these days, I don’t have time for anything else but I wouldn’t change anything.

SW: 6. And finally, How competitive do you feel the Essex Senior League is as a division this season?

CW: I think this season is very competitive, with the results so far this season it shows anyone is capable of beating anyone which is great to see. We will definitely be trying to get as many points as possible and hopefully cause a few more upsets along the way.

End

I’d like to thank Craig for his thoughts in this article and I wish him and Manor well for a good season. Thank you for reading.

S20-21 Round-ups: Essex Senior League (Mon 5 – Wed 7 Oct) [ESL 20-21 7.10.20]

ESL crest [Credit: Essex Senior League]

Written by Scott W   [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League Writer

Hello and welcome back to another of my occasional round-up articles looking at the Essex Senior League this term.. This article tracks all the action from the midweek action from Monday 5 October to Wednesday 7 October. Thanks for reading.

Essex Senior   


Monday 5 October

Hashtag Utd  4 – 1  St Margaretsbury | Len Salmon Stadium [3G]  | Att: 110

The action starts at the Len Salmon Stadium as Hashtag got their fifth league win of the season, comfortably defeating St Mags. George Smith’s first-half double [13’ & 33’] either side of a Harry Honesty effort put the Tags in a commanding position at the interval. Visiting forward Kyle Roberts notched his fifth league goal this term eight minutes after the interval, taking advantage of sloppy defending but the result was more than confirmed by substitute Albie Keith’s strike five minutes before the end which leaves Jay Devereux’s side in second spot.

Sporting Bengal Utd  2 – 3  Hadley  | Mile End Stadium | BCD

The Bricks had to fight off a spirited come back by Bengal before completing another important win on the road at Mile End. Shaz Anwar’s powerful strike gave Anthony Clark’s side the lead, before Sam Edwards’ spot-kick doubled that advantage. The tension only intensified though as a brace from Chaka Barnett levelled the game. However, Bradley Marriott’s header secured another good three points to send Hadley up to third spot, six points adrift of leaders Cockfosters.

Tuesday 6 October

Clapton  1 – 1  Hoddesdon Town   | Terrence MacMillan Stadium |

The Tons were held by the Lilywhites at Terry Mac. After a goal-less first half, Matthew Bentley got his second goal in the last three Clapton matches to put them ahead three minutes after the interval. Jack Gibbs levelled the match from the penalty spot before the hour mark and with no further breakthroughs, the Tons drew their fourth league match in six thus far. Hoddy had their first stalemate this term and remain in mid-table.

Cockfosters  4 – 2  Takeley  | Chalk Lane  |

An inspired comeback from the ‘Fosters maintained their three-point lead at the summit and their 100% winning start at Chalk Lane. Takeley started the stronger side with Lewis Deamer putting them ahead in the early stages before Ned Clarke swiftly levelled the match. The ever-reliable Jason Todd gave the visitors the lead once again just before the break but that lead only lasted about eight minutes before Reuben Campbell once again brought Ryan Wade’s side level. Clarke showed signs of last season’s goal-scoring form as he completed his hat-trick with strikes just after the hour and with minutes remaining. The win continues Cockfosters’ fine form in all competitions as they head back to FA Vase action this coming weekend. Takeley remain 13th.  

Redbridge  P – P  West Essex  | Oakside  | Match OFF due to Waterlogged pitch

Southend Manor  3 – 2  Ilford  | Southchurch Park  |

A dramatic encounter saw Manor edge over the line in the latter stages. The Foxes started the match well and Dion Lewis-Kirwan slotted home confidently on eleven minutes to break the deadlock. Liam Jarrett’s fine strike levelled things 11 minutes before the interval but there was more drama to come. First up, Ilford regained the lead through Yemi Adelani’s surging run and finish barely a minute after the resumption. After missing a penalty, substitute Matthew Keiller let fly with a superb 35-yard thunder-bolt to level the game nine minutes before the end. And with Ilford’s nerves growing, Ben Allen was felled in the area moments later before getting up to take the spot-kick himself, which he duly converted to give Craig Waters’ side their third win in their last five matches.

If you’d like more of this match, my report is here: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2020/10/07/s20-21-match-report-southend-manor-3-2-ilford-tues-6th-oct-esl/ 

Walthamstow  3 – 1  Woodford Town  | Wadham Lodge  | Att: 158

Walthamstow rose to fourth spot after a comfortable win over out-of-form Woodford at Wadham Lodge. Jon Clements gave Max Mitchell’s side the lead before a Michael Toner special from forty yards doubled that advantage. Callum Ibe then pretty much sealed the match with his opportunist goal before half-time. Substitute Ezequiel Franchi got a consolation for Town in the latter stages as they continue to seek their first league win this term.

Wednesday 7 October 

Enfield  4 – 0   Sawbridgeworth Town   | Woodside |

And in the only game on Wednesday night, The E’s notched their first of the league campaign with a fine win over Sawbridgeworth at Woodside. James Baker opened the scoring on 13 minutes for player-boss Jamie Cureton’s side. Cureton himself notched the second with a header with eighteen minutes remaining. Sawbo’s night was to get worse as substitute Olly Miles secured a brace [84’ & 87’] to make it four games without a win for Lee Mackman’s team. Enfield rise up to 15th place.

S20-21 Match Report: Southend Manor 3 – 2 Ilford (Tues 6th Oct) [ESL 20-21 7.10.20]

Essex Senior League

Venue: Southchurch Park

Attendance: TBA

2020-21 Season: Match 13

Tuesday 6th October 2020 – 7.45pm KO

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

Ilford: Red & White Hooped Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks

  

Manor battle back late on to seal dramatic win over Ilford

Southend Manor  3 – 2  Ilford

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

The first midweek in October saw me return to Southchurch Park to see an enticing Essex Senior contest between Southend Manor and Ilford. Both sides had suffered heavy defeats last time out. Manor fielded Klinton Makayabo between the sticks, with Liam Jarrett skippering the side in place of Reece Latimer, with Joe Elliott and Alex Jenkins in central defence. On the flanks were Jordan Thomas and Ben Allen, with Harry Rogers and Josh Devlin leading the line. With a number of players unavailable including the Frankis brothers, Jordan Russell, Ronnie Edwards and Deividas Sertveitis, the depleted bench included midfielder Matthew Keiller and forward Luke Jackson.

Ex-Manor boss Adam Peek’s Ilford side were also missing a few players here, including right-back Tyson Tala Nya, midfielder Dimitri Christou and former Manor pair Larry Akanbi and Jordan Fisher. They named teenager Josh Blackburn in goal, with Ope Mosuro and Omar Djotzi at the centre of their defence and an impressive front three of Yemi Adelani, Mo Kargbo and Dion Lewis-Kirwan. Among their options from the bench were centre-back Steve Sylvester and forwards Jerold Cobblah and Fred Agyemang.

Both sides just before the first whistle (Image: Scott W)

The match itself began promptly with the hosts looking to grab the momentum early. Manor forward Harry Rogers challenged visiting goalkeeper Josh Blackburn for the ball with the ‘keeper punching the ball away, only for winger Ben Allen to have his follow-up header cleared. On six minutes, home winger Jordan Thomas fired narrowly wide of the right-side post. Ilford were also gathering their stride in attack, with rapid forward Dion Lewis-Kirwan narrowly being caught off-side which only served as a pre-cursor to them taking the lead which they did on eleven minutes.

A swift break forward by the Foxes saw number 10 Mo Kargbo coolly thread the ball in to Lewis-Kirwan on the left side on the 18-yard box before advancing on goal and slotting home past Manor custodian Klinton Makayabo confidently into the far corner for a fine opening goal. Makayabo had to be alert five minutes afterwards as from a set-piece, an attempted clearing header by skipper Liam Jarrett forced Makayabo to parry the ball away from danger from his own defender to prevent an unfortunate own goal. For the next phase of the match, it was a bit of ‘the calm before the storm’ with a good free-kick by Alex Jenkins being clawed away well by Blackburn on the half-hour.

Manor did level things up on 34 minutes as a great curling strike by Jarrett was out of reach of the despairing Blackburn before finding the back of the net. The Ilford ‘keeper had to deny a fierce drive by centre-back Joe Elliott moments later but the hosts had a let-off just before the break as Kargbo again sent a great through pass in to the path of forward Yemi Adelani but he couldn’t get it under control which allowed Makayabo to gather.

Half-Time: Southend Manor  1 – 1  Ilford

So, the chances were there for both sides but it was even-stevens at the interval. It hardly stayed that way for long though as a minute after the resumption, Adelani’s rapid run down the middle caught out the Manor backline and made them pay and his calm low finish bypassed Makayabo into the net to give the visitors the lead for the second time. With the hour mark approaching, home winger Ben Allen was working hard to pressure the visiting backline, forcing a couple of set-pieces. From one of those corners, Allen himself fired off-target.

Kargbo ran through on goal soon afterwards as Ilford countered, but Makayabo was grateful to gather. On 63 minutes, Allen again was in the action as another well-hit strike was heading into the top-corner forced a very good save by the over-worked Ilf goalie Blackburn. Ilford were having to deal with considerable pressure at this point, as Elliott also headed just wide from a free-kick midway into the half.

Manor were awarded a spot-kick on 73 minutes but just moments after entering the field of play, replacement Matt Keiller sent his strike wide of the left-corner. The Manor faithful could be forgiven for thinking ‘Oh, it’s going to be another one of those nights’ but with nine minutes left, Keiller more than made up for his missed penalty as he let fly from 35 yards and a absolute thunder-bolt flew past the unfortunate Blackburn into the net to level the match once again. Cracking goal it was. It got better for Craig Waters & Garry Pond’s side two minutes later as the impressive Allen was felled in the area. The Manor winger stepped up himself to take his side’s second spot-kick of the night and Allen struck home into the right corner, much to the delight of the home side.

Ilford were shattered by the sudden turnaround and kept going, much to their credit but were unable to force a third goal here and therefore suffered an agonising defeat. They more than played their part in a dramatic match that was great for the neutral.

Full-Time: Southend Manor  3 – 2  Ilford

In summary, Manor took advantage of a bad spell late on for the visitors to win the match, although the sheer work rate of the hosts was also admirable. Ilford showed enough to suggest why they have been scoring goals so far this term but they will know they have to see out matches better than they did here.

There were a number of good performances from both sides in this match. Firstly for Manor, winger Ben Allen was a driving force in his side’s attacks and kept going all match with his pace and crossing. Centre-back Joe Elliott also had a very good impact, being stern as part of the home defence that dealt with a powerful opposition forward line. Skipper for the evening Liam Jarrett also played his part, being his side’s best attacking outlet at times, scoring one good goal and could have had another while replacement Matthew Keiller has to be noted too for his stunning second equalising goal.

For the Foxes, Mo Kargbo impressed on his return to his old club, showing good vision and great passing. Forward pair Yemi Adelani and Dion Lewis-Kirwan gave the Manor backline a tricky evening as well with their pace and movement while goalkeeper Josh Blackburn also pulled off a few good saves to deny the hosts, particularly in the second half. I’ll close here by noting that this was a really good contest and it is arguable that neither side deserved to lose. Best wishes to both sides for the remainder of the season.

Teams

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

1 Klinton Makayabo (GK), 2 Barry Findleton, 3 Billy Harrison, 4 Liam Jarrett (Capt), 5 Joe Elliott, 6 Alex Jenkins, 7 Jordan Thomas (14 Ethan Evison 75’), 8 Jack Frost (12 Matthew Keiller 71’), 9 Harry Rogers (15 Luke Jackson 61’), 10 Josh Devlin, 11 Ben Allen

Goal-scorers: Liam Jarrett [34’], Matt Keiller [81’], Ben Allen [pen 83’]

Booked: B Harrison  | Subs Not Used: J Harrison (GK)

Ilford | Manager: Adam Peek   | Assistant: Darren Gosnell

1 Joshua Blackburn (GK), 2 Sean Ekila, 3 Bailey Pryce, 4 Ope Mosuro (17 Charlie Hannam 68’), 5 Omar Djotzi, 6 Hassan Bangura, 7 Juan Cordona (15 Jerold Cobblah 80’), 8 Jamal Djotzi, 9 Yemi Adelani, 10 Mo Kargbo, 11 Dion Lewis-Kirwan (16 Fred Agyemang 76’)

Goal-scorers: Dion Lewis-Kirwan [11’], Yemi Adelani [46’]

Booked: Adelani, Mosuro | Subs Not Used: Sylvester, Hossack

Referee: Reece Pinchback

Assistants: Connor Cornell and Glenn Michaels

S20-21 Match Report: Southend Manor 0 – 1 Cockfosters (Sat 19th Sept) [FAV 20-21 19.9.20]

The FA Vase – First Qualifying Round

Venue: Southchurch Park

Attendance: 46

2020-21 Season: Match 9

Saturday 19th September 2020 – 3pm KO

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

Cockfosters: Red Shirts, Red Shorts, Red & White Socks

Cockfosters win a hard-fought contest at Southchurch to progress in the FA Vase

Southend Manor  0 – 1  Cockfosters

Report & Photos by Scott W ([Twitter: @ScottMHC14] with additional photos by Andy Wilkins (Twitter: @wilkins_media)

The Saturday game this week saw me return to Southchurch Park to see this all-Essex Senior FA Vase First Qualifying Round tie between Southend Manor and Cockfosters. Both sides were on a high after good wins in midweek league action. Manor fielded Klinton Makayabo between the sticks, with skipper Reece Latimer alongside Liam Jarrett in central defence. On the flanks were Jordan Russell and Ben Allen, with Ronnie Edwards and Luca Frankis leading the line. Among the replacements were midfielders Matthew Keiller, Gianni Frankis and Deividas Sertveitis. The ‘Fosters named a strong squad with Brad Robinson retaining the goalkeeper’s jersey, with wingers Rueben Campbell and Reece Mosanya supporting Carl Mullings and player-boss Ryan Wade in attack. On their bench was the likes of George Beattie, Harley Haag and Ned Clarke.

Both sides just before KO [Image: Scott W]



Onto the match itself then and given the wind-affected conditions, that only added to a cagey start to this Vase tie. To their credit, Manor started quite well with a free-kick from midfielder Darnel Bromfield just lobbing its way over the crossbar on six minutes. Home custodian Klinton Makayabo had to be alert twice in as many minutes as firstly on ten minutes, the French ‘keeper gathered Ryan Wade’s shot before a minute later being ever-watchful in tipping opposite number Brad Robinson’s wind-assisted free-kick over the goal frame. Manor responded moments later with a decent move involving Ben Allen and Ronnie Edwards before he passed on to winger Jordan Russell whose drive was saved by Robinson. Winger Allen showed he was up for the contest moments later by getting the better of powerful visiting centre-back Dan Odamo moments later.

Chances were at somewhat of a premium as the visitors were forced to alter their tactics, with Marcus Crowther having to revert to left-back after Prince Madu was forced off with a bad knock.  Both defences were on top for the majority of the half, with Dan Odamo and substitute Josh Fajobi clearing their lines well and Reece Latimer, Joe Elliott and Liam Jarrett doing the same at their end of the pitch for Manor. We finished the half with two half-chances. First on 39 minutes, Wade had another sight of goal quickly snuffed out as his shot was blocked at close range. Scarcely a minute later at the other end, Allen sent a well-hit curling drive narrowly over the right-side corner of goal.  

Half-Time: Southend Manor  0 – 0  Cockfosters

Thus far the game had stuttered in patches though the intrigue was still there. Cockfosters started the second half strongly, with a fine run and cross by attacking full-back Danny Haigh only just evading forward Carl Mulings’ head at the far post merely two minutes after the re-start. Tricky midfielder Kaidyn Michael also fizzed a strike off-target as assistant boss Nick Mountford was trying to get his side into the ascendancy. On the stroke of the hour mark, another good run down the Manor right by the impressive Russell ended with a wind-affected clearance by Fajobi which found its way to Manor forward Luca Frankis, with his lay-off finding strike partner Ronnie Edwards though he was unable to bypass the highly-rated glovesman Robinson.

Manor were having enough of the ball and although replacement Deividas Sertveitis had some joy down the left flank since coming on, making some good runs, Manor were unable to sorely test Robinson. As we entered the last ten minutes, the hosts were given a warning as Campbell fired another strike wide after getting past the home backline. Even so, Cockfosters were mightily relieved when they finally broke the deadlock with five minutes left. A corner from Mosanya found Fajobi and the back post and his powerful header found the net. Manor did try to force the game to spot-kicks with Robinson making a strong punched clearance in a congested 18-yard box but it would be heartbreak for Craig Waters’ side this day.

Full-Time: Southend Manor  0 – 1  Cockfosters

To summarise, it wasn’t the best of spectacles as games go, but the conditions had a part to play in that. Manor will be disappointed at the defeat, however I believe there have more positives to take from their performance today than not. If they can keep this squad together then they may be in for a better season than last term. Cockfosters will have easier matches where they are in the game a lot more than they were at times today but their back five are resolute and coped well with losing Prince Madu to injury fairly early on.

Stand-out performances for me, starting with the visitors were Danny Haigh at right-back who was a threat going forward as well. Rueben Campbell and Kaidyn Michael did well instigate moves and made good driving runs too. Finally, substitute Josh Fajobi played his part in their defensive line making good clearances well before popping up with the winner late on. For Manor, centre-back Reece Latimer had another fine afternoon, clearing crosses in effectively on a regular basis. Right-back Joe Elliott also put in a good shift, particularly in defence while Jordan Russell had a good game on the right flank, making testing runs and crosses. Also, forward Luca Frankis showed good movement and trickery to bring others into the forward moves. Credit has to go to Cockfosters for staying in the game as they did and they progress to the Second Quali Round, where they will play away at Park View in the next round.

‘Fosters ‘Keeper Robinson watches on (Image by Andy Wilkins)

Teams

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

1 Klinton Makayabo (GK), 2 Joe Elliott, 3 Billy Harrison (12 Matthew Keiller 75’), 5 Liam Jarrett, 6 Reece Latimer, 14 Jack Frost, 7 Jordan Russell, 8 Darnel Bromfield, 9 Ronnie Edwards (13 Gianni Frankis 70’), 10 Luca Frankis, 11 Ben Allen (15 Deividas Sertveitis 61’

Booked: Frost  | Subs Not Used: Price, Rogers

Cockfosters  | Player-Manager: Ryan Wade   | Assistant: Nick Mountford

1 Brad Robinson (GK), 2 Danny Haigh, 3 Prince Madu (17 Josh Fajobi 19’), 4 Matt Thomson (Capt), 5 Dan Odamo, 6 Marcus Crowther, 7 Rueben Campbell, 8 Kaidyn Michael, 9 Carl Mullings (14 Harley Haag 86’), 10 Ryan Wade (15 George Beattie 88’), 11 Reece Mosanya

Goal-scorers: Josh Fajobi [85’]

Booked: None | Subs Not Used: Clarke, Seymour, Murphy

S2020-21 Round-up’s: Essex Senior (Tues/Wed 15/16 Sept) [ESL 20/21 16.9.20]

ESL crest

Written by Scott W {Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and welcome to run-down of the mid-week action from the Essex Senior, which saw some thirty-seven goals scored in the following matches, which included some surprise results too. Thanks for reading.

Essex Senior Results – Tuesday 15th September             

Cockfosters  8 – 1  Clapton  | Moved to Chalk Lane

Moving directly onto the midweek action now and in the Essex Senior, Cockfosters thumped the Tons as they emerged with an 8 – 1 win. The hosts were 5-1 up at the break through a treble from player-boss Ryan Wade and one each for Marcus Crowther [15’] and Reece Mosanya six minutes after that goal. Daniel Emovon netted for Clapton but the momentum continued for Wade’s side as Kaidyn Michael made it six 20 minutes from time and Ned Clarke also netted a late brace in this huge win.

Hoddesdon Town  1 – 3  West Essex  | Lowfield

West Essex continued their strong league start with a 3 – 1 win at Hoddesdon. Michael MIgnot, skippering the Stags side here, put the visitors ahead on the stroke of half-time, before Callum Bloss’ free-kick made it two six minutes after the restart. Town pulled one back from 12 yards thanks to Jack Gibbs with about 20 minutes left but a unfortunate OG compounded the frustrations for Simon Riddle’s side late on as West got a fine win.

Redbridge  2 – 3  Sporting Bengal Utd  | Oakside

Sporting Bengal got a late, late victory over managerless Redbridge at Oakside. James Barlow and substitute Terry Amoafo’s goals put Redbridge in command but Joel Ramos’ first of the evening gave Imrul Gazi’s side hope. The Motormen utterly stalled in added time though as Ramos got through to add another double to complete his treble and also grab the three points for Bengal, their first win this term.

Saffron Walden Town  5 – 0  St Margaretsbury  | Catons Lane

No such drama at Catons Lane as Walden comprehensively defeated St Mags 5 – 0. Craig Calver opened his account after just two minutes and went on to grab a hat-trick with further goals on 17 and 49 minutes. The Bloods added further gloss to the score-sheet and secured their first win of the league season through goals from Alfie Hilton and Dimitri Hatzimouratis in the dying moments of the match.

Sawbridgeworth Town  3 – 2  Woodford Town  | Crofters

Sawbridgeworth pulled off another good result, winning 3 – 2 again Woodford at Crofters. Cabham Clarke put Sawbo ahead after just six minutes, but Woodford levelled ten minutes later through Jeremiah Luwero. Kieran Amos’ speculative shot put the hosts back in front moments later. Conor Clarke’s spot-kick made it three for Sawbo six minutes before the break. Marcus Painter reduced the deficit to one with a calm finish on 52 minutes but Town finished the match with nine men as Sawbo held on to claim the win.        

  Takeley  1 – 3  Hashtag Utd | Station Road

Hashtag secured their third straight league win after a hard-fought 3 – 1 triumph at Station Road. Tom Jelliman gave the hosts a good start with the opening goal just before the half-hour. The Tags responded strongly after the break though as Joshua Osude was brought down in the area and the resulting spot-kick was taken by George Smith and he made no mistake on 64 minutes to level it up at 1 – 1. Osude capped a terrific solo performance to add a brace [89’ & 90’+4] to seal another important three points for Jay Devereux’s team.

Walthamstow  2 – 3  Southend Manor  | Wadham Lodge  | Att: 109

Tuesday’s action left us with one more surprise as Manor emerged with a fine 3 – 2 victory over Walthamstow at Wadham Lodge. A see-saw encounter ended up with Darnell Bromfield getting the winner for Manor from the penalty spot midway through the second-half. Jon Clements and James Hammond got the goals for ‘Stow.

Wednesday – Enfield  0 – 1  Stansted   | Woodside

In the only Wednesday match this week, Stansted won 1 – 0 at Enfield, courtesy of a Ryan Ramsay goal on 23 minutes, being in the right place at the right time to slot home after a goalkeeping error. The Airportmen remain unbeaten in three league matches, while the E’s have yet to pick up a win.   

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

Season Review 2019-20: Essex Senior League (Part 2 – Bottom half) [ESL SR 19/20 10.5.20]

Written By Scott W  [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and welcome to the second of a two-part blog looking back at the Essex Senior League 2019-20 season, as part of my Non-League ‘Season Review’ series.

In this concluding part, I look back at the sides in the bottom half of the division from the dry statistics perspective and my own thoughts on seeing them in action during the campaign, followed by the stats on Top Goal-scorers this season.

For The Top Ten sides in the ESL, add this URL: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2020/05/05/season-review-2019-20-essex-senior-lge-p1/   Thanks for reading.

 

Essex Senior League   (as of season cut-off point of March 14th 2020)

As with most Football at or below Step 3 (Isthmian Premier Division in the local area), the season was halted in mid-March 2020 before eventually being curtailed several weeks later.

Beginning the bottom half in 11th are West Essex. The Stags had a season of transition with thirty-one points being gathered in their 24 matches. Their campaign was also blighted by weather-affected postponements though they still struck fifty-one goals (a goals per game average (GpG) of 2.125) and also shelled fifty-one in defence. They won five of their 12 matches away from their Mayesbrook Park home and their strong team ethos spread to their goal-scorers with Michael Mignot (10 league goals), Brad Russell (8) and Hakim Medfai (6) leading the way on that front. It is also notable that they have continued to encourage young talent into the first team this term. I saw them in action defeat Woodford in September, win well at Sawbridgeworth Town and narrowly lose at Cockfosters, the latter two matches both in October. Their attacking pace has continued from last term though I think for most of the season they have been that bit stronger defensively, despite suffering a few heavy losses this term. It may be that their counter-attacking style favours playing away from home, but I believe it is also about longer-term brick-building you feel for the club as they seek to strengthen the youth side of the club to build pathways through to Senior football.

 

In 12th place were Clapton. The Tons had a very strong ‘end’ to the campaign to record thirty-one points also from their 27 matches.  Five of their nine wins this term came in their last eight matches and Julian Charles’ side were nomads, playing at Parkside before finishing the campaign at Southchurch Park. They scored forty goals and conceded 59 in total, though their ten losses from seventeen away matches also impeded them. I saw them twice back in November where they lost at Stansted after a decent start and then gave Saffron Walden Town a test before falling to a loss at home to the Bloods. They struck me as a decent side on-the-pitch though their concentration did let down at times. Deimar Queni led the goal-scoring charts with six league goals so well done Deimar.

In 13th place are Ilford, with Jonny Fowell’s side gaining thirty points from their twenty-eight games. Stats will show that they scored only 31 league goals (a GpG of 1.11) which is the third-lowest in the division this term, though they did concede fifty times at the other end, which on balance is second-best of all the bottom-half sides. Cricklefield was their ‘fortress’ with all league eight wins this season coming from their 15 home games, with only five points coming away from home. Being positive, I have little doubt that Fowell and his strong coaching team will be aiming for a better season next time out. I saw them narrowly best Tower Hamlets at home back in August before giving it their all in a draw with Walthamstow in late January. I found them to be a determined outfit with some talented players who will improve with coaching & experience.

St Margaretsbury ended up in 14th spot with twenty-six points from their 28 games, after a tough end to the season which saw them gain one win in their last ten matches. Tony Wild & Ray Bartlett’s team had issues finding the net, as they scored 36 goals (a GpG of 1.28) whilst shelling forty-eight goals at the other end. Forward Kyle Roberts snared eleven league goals to lessen the threat of being caught in the bottom four. In one of those quirks, I saw them twice against Southend Manor this term. Firstly, in early September where they just edged to a win at home in a real helter-skelter high-scoring battle before Manor returned the favour at Southchurch Park in early January. When I saw them they played quite an open, attacking style and benefitted by having the likes of Ryan Reed on set-pieces too. But in defence, they could be got at, much the same as their rivals in that bottom half. It was announced post-season that Tony Wild has moved across to lead the Youth section next term, with Bartlett taking sole charge of the first team, I’d like to wish both well in their respective roles next season.

A point behind St Mags were Sporting Bengal Utd in 15th, having gathered twenty-five points from their 26 matches, after being deducted three points early on in the campaign. Imrul Gazi’s side have played a attractive style of football for several seasons now, though this term they were that bit more vulnerable defensively, having conceded 62 goals (a GpG of 2.38) this term. Curtley McIntosh led the way in attack with a very respectable twelve league goals, with support from Bobby Redwood who got seven. As mentioned in the previous part of this article, Bengal contributed hugely to a fine match in their draw with Redbridge at Mile End in late September and reminds us that they have a very capable side, even if the consistency isn’t quite there.

Enfield 1893

Into the bottom four now, starting with Enfield in 16th spot. Matt Hanning’s side had twenty-four points on the board from their 26 matches, thanks in part to a decent run of two wins and three draws in their last eight matches. Defensively they conceded sixty-six goals – the second-worst in the division but to their credit, in the last few matches they did tighten up at the back and had the season continued, they may have ended the season in a better position. One plus for them as well was their new home of Woodside (Bishop’s Stortford) and they got some fine results there, winning five of their 14 matches there this season. In 17th spot was Southend Manor who endured a tough season it has to be said. They gained twenty-three points from their 26 matches, with four of their six league wins coming at Southchurch Park. The principal issue for them was scoring goals, as they scored twenty-eight times during the entire season – the lowest in the division (a GpG of 1.07). When I saw them live though, they did have their moments (particularly in the midway point of the season as they held Sawbridgeworth in November and edged to victory of St Margaretsbury in early January) but earlier in the campaign, lapses of concentration & confidence showed in home losses to Redbridge and Cockfosters.

 

Moving into the bottom two, and in 18th place were Tower Hamlets. They were a point adrift of Manor on 22 points from their 27 games played. I wouldn’t be too surprised if Hamlets had one of the youngest squads to play in the division, certainly this season if not going further back into the league’s history. One for the historians that is. On their day, their pace and exuberance was tough to stifle, but on the other end of that scale is that their inexperience cost them, defensively in particular. They shipped sixty-five goals (a GpG of 2.41) and they didn’t win any of their last ten league matches which did put them in the position that they finished, but ran the top-of-the-table sides close which did earn John Jatto’s side respect.  Finally, bottom of the standings were Sawbridgeworth Town who won eight points from their 28 matches. Two league wins all season kind of sets the tone though what really leaps off the page was the unfortunate defensive record, conceding ninety-nine goals this term (a GpG of 3.53). Their league wins came against Cockfosters at home in mid-November and at Sporting Bengal in mid-February. I saw them lose out at home to West Essex in mid-October where they had promising parts of the game but not enough end product.  When I saw next saw them battle hard for a point at Manor at the end of November, there were signs they were tightening up and their attacking promise was evident too. Ultimately though, you’re forced to concede that it was a very harsh campaign for Sawbo and one they can scarcely afford to see again.

 

 

Finally, here’s the Leading Goal-scorers in the Essex Senior League 2019/20

(Source: essexseniorleague.co.uk)

       
    Club/s League Goals Total Goals (All Comps)
1 Dwade James Walthamstow 27 40
2 George Smith Hashtag Utd 19 26
3 Solomon Ofori Hadley 18 25
         
4 Gavin Cockman Saffron Walden Town 16 20
5 Suiabo Balde Tower Hamlets 15 15
6 Lewis Francis Walthamstow/ Saffron Walden Town 13 17
         
=7 Taylor Tombides Redbridge 12 19
  Curtley McIntosh Sporting Bengal Utd 12 16
  Issac Marfo-Jacobs Hoddesdon Town 12 15
         
=10 Kyle Roberts St Margaretsbury/ Hadley 11 15
  Connor Hammond Stansted 11 13
         
=12 Michael Mignot West Essex 10 15
  Manny Hammond Hadley 10 12
  Ned Clarke Cockfosters/ Hadley 10 10
         
=15 Charlie Cole Saffron Walden Town 9 28
  Bryn Thorpe Takeley 9 15
  Alfie Bartram Hadley 9 12
  Hassan Nalbant Redbridge 9 11
  Cameron Ferguson Hadley 9 9
         
         

 

Round-up: Essex Senior League (Fri/Sat 31 Jan/1 Feb) [ESL 19/20 2.2.20]

Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and a warm welcome to another of my semi-regular round-up pieces looking at this weekend’s Essex Senior League action, from Friday 31st January & Saturday 1st February.

 

Essex Senior

Friday 31 January

Redbridge  2 – 7  Clapton  | Oakside  | Att: 49

Clapton put in an outstanding showing to batter the Motormen at Oakside on Friday night. Deimar Queni, Jaydon Charles and Nana Boakye-Yiadom all got braces for the Tons, to which Asher Modeste added a goal so Clapton led 7 – 0 before a late double from Hassan Nalbant and substitute Charlie Portway spared the hosts from a heavier loss. The Tons’ recent form continues to impress as its five wins from their last seven matches which sees them in 11th. Redbridge fell to their second loss in their last five though remain eighth.

Saturday 1 February    –   Essex Senior

Hashtag Utd  2 – 2  Takeley  | Chadfields  | Att: 139

Hashtag fought back twice to claim a share of the points at Chadfields. An OG put Marc Das’ side ahead on the quarter-hour, though Kris Newby got the Tags back on terms four minutes into the second half. In an encounter that was getting increasingly fraught, Reece Barrett put the visitors back in front on 55 minutes and it looked as though they may eke out the win though it wasn’t to be. Tom Anderson kept up his knack of scoring goals with a late equaliser to preserve the unbeaten run at five matches for Jay Devereux’s team.  Takeley remain 5th while Utd go up to second with rivals Walthamstow in Cup action this weekend.

Sawbridgeworth Town  0 – 1  Enfield   | Crofters | Att: 40

Enfield left it late before getting a crucial win at fellow strugglers Sawbridgeworth. Prince Adeyemi’s 90th-minute goal was enough to give Matt Hanning’s team an important three points, their first in eleven games to gain ground on rivals Tower Hamlets in the bottom three. Sawbo’s losing run extends to eight matches now and they are now 14 points adrift at the bottom with twelve matches remaining.

Southend Manor  1 – 0  Hoddesdon Town  | Southchurch Park | Att: 21

Manor emerged with a narrow win over Hoddesdon, thanks to Ruben Kennedy’s strike seven minutes before the end to obtain their first win in four games and leap up above Tower Hamlets into 16th and they are only three points off Sporting Bengal in 12th spot. Hoddesdon’s top-five aspiration this term is slipping as their winless run extended to four as they remain in ninth.

Stansted  3 – 2  West Essex  | Hargrave Park | Att: 68

The Airportmen made it ten straight league wins with a battling win over West Essex at Hargrave Park. Ryan Ramsay got the opener for the hosts inside a minute, though West have shown they are fired up in recent matches and levelled the match after 12 minutes through Izzy Ogedi-Uzokwe. The game was well-poised into the second-half though Paul Clayton turned the game in a big way with a brace [70’ & 87’]. The Stags were depleted through illness and suspension though still got one back in added-time through Hakim Medfai though Paul Pittuck & John Watters’ side held on to remain sixth though they went four points clear of Cockfosters in 7th.

My Non-League colleague Matt North was at the game and here is his report: mattnorthfootball.wordpress.com/2020/02/01/match-report-stansted-3-2-west-essex-esl-19-20-01-02-20/

Tower Hamlets  0 – 2  Sporting Bengal Utd  | Mile End ‘derby’ | Att: 30

Bengal got their second Mile End ‘derby’ win of the season as they got a much-needed three points. Curtley McIntosh got the opener for Imrul Gazi’s side five minutes before the break and Bobby Redwood ended up securing the win midway through the second-half to give Bengal their second win in their last six to rise up to 12th spot. Hamlets’ quest for a win goes on and they drop to third-bottom after a winless stretch which now sits at eight matches.

 

News: In better news for Hamlets, starlet Ali Omar signed for EFL Championship side Barnsley this week so plaudits have to go to the Essex Senior side for the project they have instigated this term and best wishes go to Ali as he continues his football development at Oakwell.

 

Errington Challenge Cup : Quarter-Final

Walthamstow  0 – 2  Cockfosters  | Wadham Lodge | Att: 40

The new dawn at Walthamstow began with defeat as Cockfosters made the last four of the Errington Cup. First-half goals by Ceykan Karagozlu [20’] and Harley Haag five minutes before the break ensured that Ryan Wade’s team got the win though for ‘Stow, it is arguably more important that new boss Max Mitchell & his new signings get settled quickly as the club seeks to maintain its promotion challenge this season.

Round-up: Essex Senior League (Sat 4 Jan) [ESL 19/20 5.1.20]

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Written by Scott W  [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League & ESL Writer

Hello and welcome to my round-up of this weekend’s action in the Essex Senior League from Saturday 4 January 2020 as League action returned. I would also like to wish a very Happy New Year to all clubs, staff, players & readers of this blog.

ESL Badge

Saturday 4 January 2020 – Essex Senior

Hadley  0 – 0 Saffron Walden Town   | Brickfield Lane  | Att: 160

Hadley held firm and denied Saffron Walden another three points in this Brickfield Lane stalemate. Both sides had their chances though ultimately it was a point apiece which Hadley may be content with, given they have matches in hand on the top three. Walden drop to second. Behind Walthamstow on goal difference though are also unbeaten in their last nine matches now.

Hoddesdon Town  3 – 3  Enfield  | Lowfield   | Att: 117

Enfield roared back from two goals down to claim a point at Lowfield to aid their stuttering campaign. Things didn’t start so well for the visitors though as Liam Mulligan put the Lilywhites ahead after only three minutes, before another strike from 12 yards from Isaac Marfo-Jacobs double that home advantage six minutes afterward. Enfield halved their arrears from the spot themselves thanks to Michael Salako on 16 minutes though they kept themselves firmly in the game as Joe Pattison levelled the match three minutes before the end of a pulsating first half-hour. Ben Bradbury completed some turnaround with the third for Matt Hanning’s team three minutes before the interval.

Hoddesdon were not done though as Jack Gibbs’s strike ten minutes before the end made it three draws in their last six matches for Simon Riddle’s side, which saw them drop to seventh. Enfield’s second successive draw sees them inch above Clapton to third-bottom.

Ilford  0 – 1  Cockfosters   | Cricklefield  | Att: 56

Cockfosters ground out a decent win at Ilford, thanks to loanee striker James Verney on 72 minutes. Ryan Wade’s side got their third win in their last six matches here and fortify eighth place in the process. Ilford’s recent mixed form continues as they remain in 12th spot as one of three teams on 21 points.

 

Southend Manor  2 – 1 St Margaretsbury  | Southchurch Park  | Att: 51

Manor got a hugly important win over a promising St Margaretsbury side at Southchurch Park in my featured match on Saturday. After a fairly dry first-half, Jermaine Nicholson put the visitors ahead with a low drive on 52 minutes. However, the latter stages saw Manor rise in belief and after Louie Hunt’s opportunistic leveller with 72 minutes gone, skipper Reece Latimer got the winner three minutes from time.

If you’d like more on this match, my match report in-full is here: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2020/01/04/match-report-southend-manor-2-1-st-margaretsbury-sat-4th-jan-esl/

Stansted  5 – 1  Sawbridgeworth Town  | Hargrave Park  | Att: 110

The Airportmen delivered one of the performances of their season in this local derby to maintain their stellar winning run and heap more pressure on bottom side Sawbridgeworth. Connor Hammond broke the deadlock for the home side after twenty minutes and Daniel Cheema struck again fourteen minutes later to set their path to the win here. Hammond got his second of the afternoon five minutes later and when Jack Mitchell despatched a spot-kick home four minutes before half-time, the ‘writing was on the wall’ for Lee Mackman’s side.

To their credit, Sawbo did pull a goal back three minutes after the break through Harry Bushell but it was a rare highlight on a tough day for the visitors. Ryan Ramsay made it five with 17 minutes left as the hosts enjoyed their afternoon by claiming an eighth straight league win and in doing so, rise back up to sixth. Sawridgeworth remain bottom and are 11 points adrift of their nearest rivals, with 17 matches left to play this term.

 

Tower Hamlets  1 – 2  Hashtag Utd   | Mile End  | Att: 75

Hashtag overcame a scare at Mile End to grab another precious three points in their promotion campaign. Sam Byles put the Tags ahead after just ten minutes though the young Hamlets side once again provided tough opposition to more experienced opposition and levelled through Enock Seganile’s goal. However, Ricky Evans’ free-kick with 15 minutes remaining was the decisive goal as Utd made it five wins from their last six outings to stay 3rd though also extended their cushion over Hadley in fourth to six points. Hamlets remain 15th, though are three points clear of second-bottom side Clapton.

Walthamstow  2 – 1  Clapton   | Wadham Lodge  | Att: 130

Walthamstow secured another victory which saw them go top of the table on goal difference. Danny McCullock’s strike gave the ‘Stow a 15th-minute lead before another penalty from talisman Dwade James six minutes later put Ryan Maxwell’s side in some measure of command. Jaydon Charles’ late goal wasn;t enoughfor a Tons  side who only have one win in their last five matches and other results saw them drop to second-bottom.

 

Match Off: Takeley P – P Redbridge  (Due to a waterlogged pitch)

 

Match Report: Southend Manor 2 – 1 St Margaretsbury (Sat 4th Jan) [ESL 19/20 4.1.20]

ESL Badge

Essex Senior League

Venue: Southchurch Park

Attendance: 51

2019 – 20 Season: Match 50

Saturday 4th January 2020 – 3pm KO

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

St Margaretsbury: Red & Black Hooped Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks

 

 

Manor strike late to grab a huge three points over St Mags at Southchurch

Southend Manor 2 – 1 St Margaretsbury

Report & Photos by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14) with additional photos by Andy Wilkins [Twitter: @wilkins_media]

The first match of 2020 saw me return to Southchurch Park in an important match for the struggling hosts as they welcomed St Margaretsbury in an Essex Senior League encounter. Prior to this match, Manor were winless in their last five league matches which saw them lose ground on rivals Clapton and Enfield. Craig Waters named Josh Harrison in goal, with a back four of Dylan Bradford, Brandon Williams and centre-backs Joe Elliott and skipper Reece Latimer. Michael Ogboin led the line, with support from Max Makaka, Grant Frances and Louie Hunt. The likes of Josh Brocklebank, Jordan Chambers and Harry Rogers were options from the bench.

St Mags have also found wins hard to come by recently and fielded ex-Clapton & Basildon Utd goalkeeper Emmanuel Olajide between the posts, with a defence of Jacob Evident, Akwasi Marfo, captain Dan Palmer and Issa Farouk-Alhassan ahead of him. The returning Kyle Roberts led their forward line, with Kirk McPherson and Jermaine Nicholson just behind in the formation. Aiden Read, Isaac Stevens and Ali Bangura completed their options from the dug-out.

Before the match, I thought this may be a ‘slow-burner’, particularly given the pressure on the hosts to accumulate the points they need to climb out of their current precarious position. The home defence had a warning two minutes in as a good ball played in by box-to-box midfielder Tom Opoku found forward Kyle Roberts though his header lacked the fizz needed to bypass Manor custodian Josh Harrison. Moments later, good link-up play between Manor wingers Louie Hunt and Grant Frances on the right-side on the penalty box ended up with Frances blazing over the woodwork from a narrow angle. Also in the early stages, Manor centre forward Michael Ogboin was linking up well with his support forwards nd with twelve minutes gone, he weaved past his marker before unleashing a stinging goal-bound effort which visiting goalkeeper Emmanuel Olajide did well to keep out.

As we passed the midway point of the half, St Mags had some promising forays forward with the energetic runs of Roberts being well stopped by committed tackle by home right-back Dylan Bradford. St Margaretsbury had several near-misses in the remainder of the half, with the skill and delivery of Ryan Reed and Jermaine Nicholson only just evading a team-mate. Just past the half-hour mark, a Reed free-kick was hastily cleared at the second time of asking by the home backline, though in the next phase, skipper Dan Palmer’s header was gathered by Harrison.

Ten minutes before the break, Manor had a set-piece which Frances angled in toward the St Mags goalmouth, though captain Reece Latimer headed just over the goal frame. Another warning came for the hosts’ defence as full-back Jacob Evident sprinted down the right flank though the finish was awry and deserved better. St Mags could have gone into the break ahead though Reed blasted over the woodwork after bypassing his marker and moments after, a goalkeeping error by Harrison wasn’t punished as Roberts could only loft his strike harmlessly over the crossbar.

IMG_20200104_175835
Manor forward Michael Ogboin on-the-ball [Image: Andy W]

Half-Time:  Southend Manor  0 – 0  St Margaretsbury

My instinct said this match wouldn’t stay in a bleak stalemate and so it proved. Three minutes after the resumption, Reed fizzed another free-kick narrowly over the woodwork though moments later, the hosts were not so fortunate. Following-up after an initial St Mags attack was rebuffed, Nicholson sent a low drive past a crowded six-yard area past Harrison into the left-side corner to give St Mags the lead on 52 minutes. Manor looked edgy at this point and on the hour, Roberts unleashed a blistering drive from 30 yards which didn’t miss by much.

IMG_20200104_175849
Louie Hunt (l) celebrates his leveller with skipper Latimer & Frances [Image: Andy W]
That being said, Manor did recoup their belief and put the pressure back on the visiting defence. They got a crucial leveller with 72 minutes on the watch as Louie Hunt was in the ‘right place, right time’ from close range, striking low past Olajide. The St Mags custodian earned more kudos shortly afterward as he denied substitute Luke Jackson and Ogboin in quick succession. As it turned out, the St Mags defence had a defensive lapse with minutes remaining and it cost them a point. Ogboin had another strike denied by Olajide though Latimer was there to lash home the rebound and give Southend Manor a much-needed win, their fifth of the season.

To be fair to both sides, the second half was a real see-saw encounter which could have gone either way on a surface which is already showing signs of wear, ahead of a busy schedule coming up for it in the next few months. St Mags showed enough to say they will settle and probably end up in mid-table come April. After this match, Manor rose up to 16th, two points clear of rivals Clapton, who drop to second-bottom after defeat at Walthamstow. St Mags remain in 11th spot.

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Manor skipper Reece Latimer shows his delight with the hosts’ second goal [Image: Andy W]

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Full-Time: Southend Manor  2 – 1 St Margaretsbury

In summary, Manor got the points late on though the result was a bit harsh on St Mags, who had enough periods of the game to lay a good claim to a point here, despite Olajide being the busier goalkeeper in the latter stages. In terms of stand-out performances, Manor full-back Dylan Bradford had a fine game showing good tackling, good energy and determination. Louie Hunt also had a good game and deserved his goal, while centre-back Reece Latimer led his defence well and forward Michael Ogboin showed his presence in attack. Grant Frances also did well on the left flank for Craig Waters’ team. For the ‘Bury, ‘keeper Emmanuel Olajide pulled off a number of good saves to keep his side in the game. Ex-Manor full-back Jacob Evident shone against his former club, with Jermaine Nicholson, forward Kyle Roberts and advancing midfielder Tom Opoku also having good games for Ray Bartlett & Tony Wild’s side.

Finally, I would like to thank Southend Manor for their welcome and their media man Andy Wilkins for the usage on the additional photographs provided in this report. Happy New Year to all the readers of my blog.

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Manor management duo Craig Waters (r) and Garry Pond (l) watch on [Image: Andy W]

Teams (with shirt numbers)

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

1 Josh Harrison (GK), 2 Dylan Bradford, 3 Brandon Williams, 4 Kiah Froud (12 Josh Brocklebank 69’), 5 Joe Elliott, 6 Reece Latimer (Capt), 7 Louie Hunt (14 Jordan Chambers 81’), 8 Ruben Kennedy, 9 Michael Ogboin, 10 Max Makaka (16 Luke Jackson 58’), 11 Grant Frances

Goal-scorers: Louie Hunt [72’], Reece Latimer [87’]

Booked: None | Sub Not Used: Njodzeka, Rogers

 

St Margaretsbury   | Joint-Managers: Ray Bartlett & Tony Wild

1 Emmanuel Olajide (GK), 2 Jacob Evident (14 Isaac Stevens 69’), 3 Akwasi Marfo (12 Aiden Read 38’), 4 Tom Opoku, 5 Dan Palmer (Capt), 6 Issa Farouk-Alhassan, 7 Ryan Reed, 8 Andy Greenslade, 9 Kyle Roberts, 10 Kirk McPherson (15 Ali Bangura 77’), 11 Jermaine Nicholson

Goal-scorers: Jermaine Nicholson [52’]

Booked: None | Subs Not Used: None

 

Referee: James Keane

Assistant Referees: Trevor Williams & Joe Lannon