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Clapton, Sporting Bengal lose at home

PUBLISHED: 08:42 10 October 2016

Clapton go close against Southend Manor (pic Tim Edwards)

Clapton go close against Southend Manor (pic Tim Edwards)

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Defeats for Essex Senior League neighbours

Action from Clapton's meeting with Southend Manor (pic Tim Edwards)Action from Clapton's meeting with Southend Manor (pic Tim Edwards)

Clapton suffered a home defeat at the hands of Southend Manor on Saturday as a cool finish from Sam Short was enough for the visitors to take the three points against a lacklustre home side.

The hosts were looking to celebrate new manager Jon Fowell’s month anniversary at the helm in style while Manor were seeking retribution after a Roddy Lemba header in the 93rd minute had given Clapton victory in their earlier meeting, Fowell’s first win in charge.

Southend began like a side on a mission, terrorising the Tons defence from the outset as the visitors front men pressed and caused jitters in the Clapton back line.

Daniel Okha dispossessed his opposite number early on and the resulting cross to the back post was hooked back to Bayley Newell, but his header from eight yards was just over.

A Clapton player waits for the ball to drop in midfield (pic Tim Edwards)A Clapton player waits for the ball to drop in midfield (pic Tim Edwards)

Manor didn’t stop there and a free-kick put into a dangerous area left the Tons keeper in no mans land, with Olanrewaju Vigo forced to clear off his line.

Tons captain Hussain Jaffa had to repeat the trick moments later as Clapton looked all at sea, with nerves at the back and a lack of spark at the front.

Manor dominated, but were yet to see any fruits of their labour, until the 36-minute mark when skipper Robbie Norris provided the key to unlock the door, with a brilliant ball from midfield for Short, whose first-time finish gave th visitors a deserved lead.

With no shots on target in open play, Clapton had much to ponder and the team talk from Fowell and huddle from assistant Andre Thomas appeared to breathe life back into the side.

Clapton's keeper comes under pressure against Southend Manor (pic Tim Edwards)Clapton's keeper comes under pressure against Southend Manor (pic Tim Edwards)

There was an immediate response from the players, as striker Christian Adu Guyamfi showed his aerial presence to almost head home a minute into the second half.

However, just as Clapton were looking to be building a way back into the match, centre-back Euan Taylor-Reid let the ball roll under his foot to alllow Newell through one on one.

Much to Taylor-Reid’s relief, Newell could only chip into the keeper’s midrift, as the chance should have put the game beyond doubt for Manor.

Instead, Clapton began to have more possession and the better chances, with an equaliser looking likely.

On a few occasions, an outstretched leg would have provided a way back in, but it seemed that it wasn’t meant to be as Clapton couldn’t find that killer ball that had proven the undoing of them.

The hosts continued to probe at the Manor defence, yet the visitors weathered the storm and got the revenge they were looking for.

The Ultras cheers for Southend Manor were well deserved as they played out a complete performance and they have now swapped positions in the league with Clapton, lying in fifth place.

Up next for the Tons is a short trip to the Mile End Stadium to take on league strugglers Sporting Bengal in a must-win game if they want to push for the higher places in the league.

Sporting Bengal snatched defeat from the jaws of victory against Basildon United at the weekend to remain bottom of the table.

After a goalless first half, Shiblu Miah put Imrul Gazi’s men ahead just two minutes into the second period.

And they held on to that advantage until nine minutes from time when Lee Delf levelled for the visiting Bees.

Worse was to come for the hosts, though, as Ayoola Odedoyin put Basildon ahead on 84 minutes, before Yaw Danso sealed the points with a third goal in the last minute of normal time.

“1-0 up with 8 mins to play, we collapsed is an understatement. That’s a tough one to take,” tweeted a Sporting Bengal spokesman.

London Bari and Tower Hamlets meet in another east London derby at the Old Spotted Dog on Tuesday.

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