Manor Achieve Heroic 1-0 Victory Over Tons


On Saturday afternoon, Southend Manor managed a 1-0 victory over Clapton FC in their latest Essex Senior League match at Southchurch Park.

Josh Blackburn returned to the squad in the place of Patrick Stephenson after being on the bench in midweek with Kiah Froud, Cameron Harris, Reece Latimer and Jordan Chambers also returning from the bench whilst Derek Ohalem was dropped to the bench with Louie Hunt also returning to the bench after a few weeks away.

The opening minutes of the game were bright for Manor as Larry Akanbi and Chambers showed dominance over the Clapton defence. Akanbi most poignantly using his strength to overcome the Clapton defence when with the ball.

However as the half carried on, both teams were cancelling each other’s set of plays out whilst the wind was getting stronger throughout. It was turning into a proper gritty game as one might expect after a mass amount of rainfall.

Eventually Clapton got their first chance at goal when Basseer Ishouzader managed to turn one of the Manor defenders before shooting at Josh Blackburn. Blackburn was able to scramble quickly in order to get the ball before it went loose.

In a flash, Jordan Chambers ran down the left wing before turning a Clapton defender and crossing the ball in before Clapton keeper Valentine Obima Iheuyiogu managed to save the ball and subsequently lob the ball out of the penalty area to his defenders.

Clapton went again with another attack as their attackers managed to hold off the Manor defence before seeing Blerai Ademi striking at Blackburn from 25 yards out leading to the 16 year old keeper making another scrambling save.

About five minutes later saw Manor awarded with a free kick. Grant Frances took the opportunity by swerving it in which was met with two headers being made before Michael Ogboin managed to nip the ball at the far post beyond the Clapton defence to make it 1-0 to Manor.

Ishouzader was once again at the heart of the Clapton attack as he drove down the right wing and into the centre of the Manor half before Cameron Harris beat him off the ball and intercepted to end the hopes of an equaliser in what was the last notable bit of play before half time.

The second half took a little bit of time to get underway but it started well for Manor as seven minutes into the half saw Chambers running down the left wing into the penalty area before crossing it into Akanbi before a Clapton defender managed to stick his leg out to intercept the ball.

Josh Brocklebank was subbed on for David Salako who made his Manor debut in midweek and the arrival was an almost instant success as the recently-injured lad got involved in taking throw-ons and trying to drive the ball down on the right wing.

Over the next few minutes, Manor’s players were being met with a few mistimed challenges by Clapton with the referee refusing to award any free kicks but more trying to play the advantage instead. This was somewhat welcomed by the Manor management team and I’m sure the spectators as well.

About five minutes later saw Ruben Kennedy make an ambitious strike from 30 yards out which went just wide of the goal in what could’ve ended up as a second goal for Manor had the wind not played such an input.

A couple of minutes later saw Louie Hunt come on for Michael Ogboin and like Brocklebank’s arrival, Hunt’s addition to the game was a great decision by the Manor management team as he made a few great ambitious through balls alongside a few good runs into the final third of the Clapton defence.

Two minutes later saw Brocklebank come to the rescue for Manor as he dived in to clear an attacking ball by Clapton to keep the scoreline at 1-0 to the hosts.

Three minutes after that saw Grant Frances coming off for Max Makaka with the next big moment involving Blackburn as he made a crucial tackle on a Clapton attacker to clear the ball and keep the scoreline 1-0. In all fairness, had Blackburn made the wrong step or even the wrong type of slide, it could’ve easily been a penalty awarded to the visitors but that moment proved how good Blackburn was in terms of form for Manor in this game.

As the game started to close, Manor were tying to get a second to shut off the game and this was proven as Akanbi was pushing himself into the Clapton penalty area via the left wing before being fouled in the box. The referee dismissed the penalty claim immediately.

Just moments later saw Akanbi took an ambitious shot at goal which just went high before the closing moments of the game saw Manor players putting their bodies on the line as Clapton tried to get an equaliser. Shot after shot and block after block. It wasn’t an ending for the faint hearted as such.

Eventually the referee’s whistle blew and with it, Manor had earned their first three points under Craig Waters as manager which were met with celebrations by the players and management team. Manor go again next Saturday where they welcome Cockfosters to Southchurch Park for another Essex Senior League match.


About Author

Photographer who's gone everywhere from covering non-league football to covering England internationals. Occasionally write but mostly at football matches with a camera and mono-pod.

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