Essex Senior League – Premier Division
Venue: Mile End Stadium
2021-22 Season: Match 64
Wednesday 23rd March 2022 – 7.45pm KO
Bengal: Green Blue Shirts, Red Shorts, Green Socks
Manor: Blue & White Shirts, Yellow Shorts, Yellow Socks
Late rally sees Manor claim important victory over Bengal at Mile End
Sporting Bengal Utd 0 – 3 Southend Manor
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
The match got underway with an understandable array of nerves from both sides as neither team could break down the oppsition’s defence. Louie Maxwell and Freddy Tandon did an admirable job in central defence for Bengal, while Montel Shonubi, Perry Dunn and Sam Richardson did the same for Manor as they were keen to keep things level and build well from the back. For the smattering of spectators attending, chances were not forthcoming on a regular basis in the first half, though midfielder Josh Devlin’s free-kick wasn’t far off-target, while the oppurtunistic Ben Allen narrowly drilled a strike wide as well in the first twenty minutes. For Bengal, they were finding it hard to bypass the solid Manor backline, though forwards Ricardas Milasius and Troy Cleghorn had some promising moments and keot the visiting defence alert too.
As the first half moved into the midway stages, Bengal winger Reinaloo Araujo had a glimmer of a chance at the far post but couldn’t test Manor stopper Christian North as it fizzed wide. At the other end, the first gilt-edged chance came for Manor youngster Sam Richardson as his fine header drew a good save out of Bengal goalkeeper Christian Villanucci, who parried the ball away well.
We got to the interval with no goals but a fair amount of intrigue as to where the points would be heading by full-time.
HT: Manor 0 – 0 Sporting Bengal
In fairness to Sporting Bengal, they did have the edge in terms of ball time in the early part of the second half. Eight minutes after the restart, Araujo made a good run down the left before finding Milasius who in turn struck a fierce effort which Manor stopper North sprawled across to make a good save and claw the ball away from the top right corner. Bengal centre-back Maxwell also nodded wide from a decent set-piece as well. Manor had to raise their game and maintain their focus, as they were getting drawn into making poor challenges at times.
However, in the last twenty minutes of the game, Southend Manor came back into the match and in some style. Moments after coming off the bench, forward Isaac Acquah finally broke the deadlock on seventy-two minutes as he found half a yard of space before netting from close range past Villanucci. The match as a whole badly needed a goal by this stage but it was only going to get harder for Steve Clark’s team.
Manor made this telling spell count in a big way as only three minutes afterward, the influential Allen took advantage of the hosts switching off in defence to fire the ball confidently into the left side corner to put James Wakeling’s side two goals ahead in the space of four minutes. Manor were really in the ascendancy in the close minutes, as forward Cesario Mendes narrowly hit off-target and a speculative effort by midfielder Daniel Brock cannoned off the crossbar with Villanucci beaten. Manor did get a third goal right on the ninety-minute mark as a fine run by Allen, weaving round his marker with some skill in the penalty area before slotting home well to crown off a fine finish to a game that harboured some tough moments for the improving Manor team.
Full-Time: Sporting Bengal Utd 0 – 3 Southend Manor
In summary, some may look at the scoreline and think this was a comfortable win for Manor. It wasn’t quite like that as Bengal defended well in the first hour or so, but the main problem for the hosts was the lack of consistent goal threat. Manor goalkeeper did need to make two good saves but his side ended the match in a strong way, which breeds optimism for the future.
In terms of stand-out performances, Manor forward Ben Allen was a good outlet for his team, showing good passing and pace and took his goals very well. Manor full-back Ben Sargent also was a key player in the attacking moves, showing good energy and movement while skipper Perry Dunn marshalled the refence well as ever. For Bengal, forward Ricardas Milasius had good pace and movement as well, forcing a good save out of North. Centre-back Louie Maxwell made a lot of good clearances to aid his team plus winger Reinaloo Araujo also stretched the visiting defence utilising his pace and good crossing ability.
Best wishes to both teams for the rest of the campaign.
Sporting Bengal Utd | Manager: Steve Clark |
Starting XI (Subs): 1 Christian Villanucci (GK), 2 Tanvir Ahmed (12 Kamarni Collington 76′), 3 Ajani Bryan-Wilson, 5 Louie Maxwell (Capt), 6 Freddy Tandon, 4 Thami Mmakola, 8 Ben Bickford (17 Emmanuel Olu 42′), 7 Reinaloo Araujo, 9 Troy Cleghorn (14 Prashanta Paul 76′) , 10 Ricardas Milasius, 11 Hugo Amaral
Booked: Ahmed, Mmakola, Tandon | Subs Not Used: George
Southend Manor | Manager: James Wakelindg | Asstistant: Ryan Frost
Starting XI (Subs): 1 Christian North (GK), 2 Nathan Booty, 3 Ben Sargent, 5 Montel Shonubi, 6 Perry Dunn (Capt), 16 Sam Richardson, 4 Josh Devlin (9 Ryan Kenyon 71′), 8 Daniel Brock, 11 Cesario Mendes (18 Billy Richardson 78′), 10 Ben Allen, 14 Andre Embalo (7 Isaac Acquah 71′)
Goal-scorers: Isaac Acquah [72′], Ben Allen [75′ & 90′]
Booked: Dunn, Devlin, Brock | Sub Not Used: Bolger, J Allen
Referee: Nathan Kitteridge
Assistants: Olabisi Omotosho & Adrian Vernica