I was over at a rather chilly Southchurch Park for an ESL Essex derby as Southend Manor hosted Burnham Ramblers with both sides coming into this one off the back of weekend defeats.
Manor suffered a disappointing home loss to London Bari whilst Burnham Ramblers went down at home to Barking in a game they had led at the break. The visitors had as a result lost their last three games netting only once in those matches but they almost had a great start when a shot came off the outside of the post as the hosts failed to clear.
However that was to prove Ramblers only real effort on goal in the first half as the hosts quickly began to take over proceedings and on five minutes Rhys Fatt cut inside and drilled a shot just wide of Burnham’s near post and then two minutes later they really should of led but after a great ball into the six yard box, the hosts could only head over from point blank range.
The hosts were now doing most of the pressing and on twenty minutes saw a free kick fly across the box before it was flicked behind for a corner and this was drilled towards the penalty spot and sawMichael Bottone drift towards the near post and leave his marker for dead and finish first time past Harry Aldridge in the Ramblers goal, giving Manor a deserved lead.
The game sort of slipped into a midfield battle briefly thereafter but it was the hosts who continued to look more threatening and on 33 minutes the ever dangerous Fatt forced visitors keeper Aldridge into a decent stop from close range before he received a late challenge and required treatment. He was ok to continue though, much to Ramblers relief.
However two minutes before half time Manor doubled their lead in almost identical circumstances when from another Fatt corner, Christie O’Donahue lost his marker and headed home past Aldridge and gave Manor a two goal half time lead and control of this tussle.
Half Time Southend Manor 2 Burnham Ramblers 0
Ramblers, no doubt with Keith Wilson‘s voice still ringing in their ears after a poor first half, created the first chance of the second half three minutes in when they forced the hosts keeper into a decent stop down to his right. Manor hadn’t really come out for the second period and as a result the visitors were much better in the opening exchanges of the second half, putting the hosts under some pressure.
The pressure didn’t really create any real clear cut chances of note though and on 68 minutes another visiting attack saw a dangerous ball into the Manor six yard box cleared just about before ending up as another corner which saw a header looped wide and off target, again not testing the keeper.
Three minutes later Manor got in down the right but only a last ditch clearance prevented Fatt from what would of been an easy tap in and then on 74 minutes Fatt cut inside but saw his effort deflected wide for a corner and the hosts looked to seal the deal. Burnham though at least continued to make the hosts work for the win and with nine minutes to go more pressure from the visitors saw a closerange effort blocked brilliantly before the loose ball fell to Ramblers but the effort went straight at the keeper.
It was to be Burnham’s last chance to get back into the contest as with four minutes remaining Manor sealed the deal when great work from substitute Sam Short saw him strike an effort at goal which Aldridge saved but saw the ball go back to Short who forced Aldridge into another save but the ball went across goal and Fatt was their to gobble up the rebound from barely a yard out and the points was Manor’s.
The last action of the game saw a rare sight of Burnham Ramblers boss Keith wilson coming on for a cameo appearance but his side have now lost four straight whilst the Stuart Marshall that is three wins in five games since he took charge of the Southchurch Park club.
Full Time Southend Manor 3 Burnham Ramblers 0
For all things ESL visit my unofficial page at www.pitchero.com/clubs/essexseniorleague
To read my blogs of local footie action visit pedroslocalfootiefix.blogspot.co.uk
Also find me on twitter @ped1980