West Essex were moved up to third in the Essex Senior League, albeit temporarily at least, with victory over Southend Manor on Friday night. A brace from Michael Mignot and goals from George Fairhead, Cameron Gray, Brad Russell and Hakim Medfai helped West onto a comfortable win despite being reduced to 10-men.
It was almost the perfect start for West as Isaac Marfo-Jacobs had the first shot of the game but it was rattled against the crossbar. Manor’s first shot came 5-minutes later but Ronnie Edwards’ shot was comfortable for Jack Coker in the West goal. The hosts came close a couple of times in the first 20-minutes; first Marfo-Jacobs rounded the keeper but sent his effort over from an angle before Micheal Acquah was out quickly to smother a chance. West also got away with one as the centre-back gave the ball away but Manor’s effort was just over the bar.
West Essex continued to push and Michael Mignot saw his cross deflected behind before the deadlock was finally broke. The ball fell to George Fairhead on the edge of the box, who struck a half-volley well past the keeper. Despite conceding, Southend Manor almost had a chance instantly but Ben Allen’s shot was deflected wide. A penalty shout was waved away for the visitors before they had a period of pressure. A low shot was held well by Coker, despite large amounts of spray, before Allen made a good run but the ball just ran away from him and a tame shot was well held.
Michael Mignot came close to doubling West’s lead when he latched onto a through ball but Acquah got down well to deny the forward. Ben Allen had Manor’s best chance of the game when his shot from the edge was tipped onto the bar by Coker. Right before half-time, West’s Brad Russell saw three Manor players slide into prevent a goal before in added time, Cameron Gray doubled the hosts’ lead. He flicked a header past the keeper.
It was a quick start to the second-half for the visitors as they came forward but a shot was rattled against the crossbar in the opening seconds. The chance at goal had given Manor some confidence as they continued to come forward. A header from Jordon Thomas was just wide before a long distance shot was also just wide and Luke Jackson rounded the keeper but Coker recovered well.
Manor rued their missed chances as West Essex started to apply the pressure again. The hosts were reduced to 10-men in the 68th-minute when Marfo-Jacobs was dismissed for sliding in and catching the keeper. They didn’t need the extra-man though as just six-minutes later, Mignot scored his first of the night after racing through and slotting past the keeper. Two-minutes later, West had a fourth as Brad Russell fired a free-kick past the keeper.
Although they had the extra-player, Manor struggled for chances. A cross-shot from Thomas was just over the bar before a free-kick was fired straight into the wall and the second attempt saw Joe Elliott send a powerful effort inches wide of the target.
Michael Mignot scored his brace (and what turned out to be his 100th goal) in the 84th minute as he took the ball around the keeper and slotted home. Two-minutes later, Andy Edmunds almost gifted West another chance but he recovered well to prevent a sixth. Manor tried to find a late consolation goal but a few shots were blocked before an effort was sent over the bar. The night got worse for Manor as they conceded in the 90th-minute. Hakim Medfai’s effort was deflected onto the post and in.
The weather certainly played a part but West seemed to have come alive when they were reduced to 10-men as they scored four with one less player. West now face a trip to Redbridge on Tuesday whilst Manor will host Ilford.