Southend Manor Reserves 0 Sawbridgeworth Town Reserves 1

Updated: November 24, 2017

Wednesday evening saw me over at Southchurch Park for a rare ESL Reserves Division midweek fixture as Southend Manor hosted Sawbridgeworth Town in a rearranged fixture.

The hosts were having a great season, sitting in fourth place with games in hand over the teams above, and could go second with victory in this one, whilst The Robins were sitting in sixth spot and could close the gap to the top six to just a point with a victory.

And two minutes in Manor went close to taking an early lead but saw a deflected shot well saved by the visitors keeper, then eight minutes later another pacey attack from the hosts ended with a shot straight at the keeper.

On 13 minutes Manor attacked again and after a dangerous ball into the area caused the keeper to fumble, from the next attack the visitors keeper managed to tip over a decent effort from the hosts.

The visitors first effort on goal came four minutes later when they struck a long range effort inches over the bar. Sawbo had a very strong wind behind them in the first half so the shot had some venom in it helped by the wind, and in the 19th minute a ball driven to the far post was inches away from being converted at the far post by the Robins.

The Robins were now beginning to use the wind to their advantage and in the 34th minute the ball was given away by the hosts and saw the visitors whistle one over the top, and then two minutes later the home sides keeper made a good stop to keep Sawbo’s effort out.

Five minutes before the break Manor had a great chance as a free kick floated into the box found a player unmarked but he could only head wide, and the half ended goalless in a match where the quality was not being helped by a strengthening wind from the Estuary.

Half Time Southend Manor Reserves 0 Sawbridgeworth Town Reserves 0

Four minutes into the second period the hosts, now with wind behind them, fired over the first attempt in the second half before the visitors keeper had to make a brilliant save moments later after making a mess of the initial cross.

The next chance didn’t arrive until the 63rd minute but wow what a chance as a Manor substitute found himself through on goal just moments after coming on, but he could only slice his effort well wide, it really was a terrific chance.

Three minutes later down the other end the visitors were screaming for a spot kick after they were convinced a defender had handled after a cross into the hosts area had caused problems, however the referee adjudged it wasn’t a handball and played on.

With twenty minutes to go Manor thought they had finally found a way through when a shot hit the visiting keeper on the body, came back out and saw the rebound turned home, however about three or four seconds later the linesman on the far side raised his flag to indicate offside so the goal was ruled out, much to Manor’s dismay.

Four minutes later Manor saw a free kick go inches over, it looked like it was in for all money, and then moments later the home side went close again when driving a ball across goal but not finding anyone in the middle.

But with eleven minutes remaining of the contest the breakthrough did arrive, but not for the hosts, as a cross into the box caught the wind, deceiving the defender trying to head the cross away, and player manager Andi Pearce produced a scissor kick like finish into the roof of the net and put his side ahead.

Manor almost responded immediately as a ball into the box ended with a finish on the stretch although it look like he had been fouled trying to strike the ball at goal, but again it was adjudged that no such offence occured, annoying a now frustrated home side.

Manor then struck another long range effort over, and this meant they still trailed with three to go plus stoppages. But they could not find a way back into the game and it meant that Pearce’s goal eleven minutes from time was enough to see The Robins to victory in a game ruined by the wind. It was also a rare defeat for Manor, only their second of the season, meaning the hosts stay fourth, and Sawbo sixth and just a point behind the top five.

Full Time Southend Manor Reserves 0 Sawbridgeworth Town Reserves 1

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