Essex Olympian League side Manford were victorious in their friendly against Eastern Counties League side Barkingside as they came out 3-0 winners. Side’ struggled for large parts of the game whilst Manford dominated proceedings. Manford used the game as a way to trial several players as only 4 first team players were included in the squad.
The first half was a cagey affair as both sides tied to get a hold of the game. The opening minutes provided little in the way of goal-mouth action. It was Manford who had the first real opportunities of the game as a header was collected well by the Side’ keeper before a shot was just wide.
Although there was little between the sides, it was the visitors who had the better chances. They felt they should have been one-up when they managed to get past the Barkingside defence and one-on-one with the keeper but the eventual shot was inches wide of the target. The hosts did have a couple of shots themselves but after an awkward, bouncing ball was caught by the Manford keeper and a long-range effort was dragged away from goal, the danger was cleared. Right before half-time, Manford had another opportunity to break the deadlock but it was cleared off the line.
Right after the half-time break, it was Manford who continued to dominate. They threatened to open the scoring in the 55th minute but a shot was curled too wide from the target. The pressure from the visitors paid off when a couple of minutes later, the deadlock was broken. Quick passing down the right hand side opened up the space allowing Manford’s winger to lob the keeper.
Barkingside struggled to create chances as Manford Way held their own in defence, clearing all the balls that came their way. The visitors looked to try and increase their lead but didn’t take their chances. A loose ball from the Side’ keeper was straight at him before a shot was fired over. Whilst Barkingside were left to take pot shots from distance, Manford had a series of corners as they looked to increase their lead. They did exactly that after in the 86th minute when a header creeped into the bottom corner.
Minutes later, the lead had been increased once again. A mistake from the keeper meant a simple tap-in was handed to Manford. Barkingside immediately tried to come forward after conceding the 3rd but it was well defended by the visitors.