Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Southend Manor 2 Heybridge Swifts 6

Pre Season Friendly, Tuesday 11th July 2017

I was over at my local club Southend Manor for my latest outing as they hosted Heybridge Swifts in a Pre Season friendly at Southchurch Park
The hosts have ambition this season and are looking to try and gain promotion to the Bostick North from the ESL and after last seasons decent season are looking to kick on this time around.
Swifts on the other hand are looking to have a much better season this time round after only surviving relegation from the Bostick North on the final day but they have signed some decent players for this term so they will hope this can help them going forward.
The teams were greater by appalling conditions on the Thames estuary with heavy rain lashing down and the first quarter of an hour saw Swifts create the best two chances, a header just wide then a shot deflected over.
But in the 17th minute the visitors did take the lead as a header from Ryan Henshaw was saved but Henshaw was there to convert the rebound and give his side the lead.
The visitors were now starting to gain control of the contest and looked fairly comfortable but in the 26th minute the hosts levelled ftom nowhere as Mickey Hopkins ran onto a long ball forward and applied a deft touch beyond the onrushing keeper and Manor were on terms.
However they weren’t on terms for very long as on the half hour mark Harrison Chatting produced a good run and finish, and Swifts were back ahead once again.
The visitors were now showing their class and three minutes before half timeadded a third when Luke Callander waltzed in and slotted home. Swifts had created a number of chances in this game and took another a minute before the break when Henshaw let fly from thirty yards out and it was four for the visitors.
Changed were made at the break but it didn’t effect the contest to.much as Swifts continued their assault on Manors goal, seeing one chance strike the post after a dazzling run and another effort saved by the hosts keeper.
But then ten minutes into the half Manor scored from nowhere again when a ball forward was converted and it was a second for the hosts as they reduced the deficit.
The next period of play saw Swifts create several more chances to score, whereas Manor saw Hopkins miss two great chances at the other end, as the game entered it’s final quarter.
Swifts created another great chance but failed to convert at back post, but with seven minutes left they did finally manage to find the net again with a tap in after a nod down from a cross and then barley two minutes later netted again when Marley Andrews drilled an effort across the keeper and in.
Hopkins saw a point blank header well saved by the Swifts keeper late on, but although the hosts showed glimpses, Swifts were fairly dominant overall and took the win.
Manor boss Stuart Marshall told me afterwards that these games against Thurrock and Heybridge were all about fitness and bot about the results, and that in his eyes the Pre season starts this weekend. He also said he is happy with where his squad is right now. Let’s see how far he can take them in the coming weeks and months.
As for Heybridge boss Jody Brown will be happy with how his team played I’d say, they certainly played some nice football on a difficult surface, and they should have a better season than the last on this showing.

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