Bristol Manor Farm suffered a bitter defeat on the South Coast on Tuesday night, going down by just the single goal to a Moneyfields side who now top the division with a game in hand on their rivals.
The last 50 minutes of the match were played without either starting captain on the field. Both Owen Howe – for a foul in the opposition box – and Lewis Fennimore for the home side – were both dismissed for second yellow card offences, Howe as early as the 17th minute and Fennimore with six minutes still to play in the half.
The home side were one-nil up by that stage, scoring in the 13th minute after making a bright start to the game. A sliced clearance by Jack Durrant following a long free-kick fell kindly into the path of Joe Briggs who continued his run into the box before shaping well and slotting the ball across goalkeeper Ben John into the far corner of the net.
Chances were scarce for Manor Farm in the interim period before Fennimore’s sending off evened up the sides once again. The home side had threatened on more than one occasion to extend their lead and it took a great Ben John save in the 38th minute – palming away a firm close range header– to prevent Moneyfields from doubling their lead.
With the second half starting with both teams playing ten-a-side, a proper football match suddenly broke out. Lloyd Rowlett for the home side lobbed onto the roof of the net in the 55th minute and drove a well-hit shot just wide in the 57th. But Manor Farm then began to exert the greater control of the game and were given an added edge going forward by the introduction of Jordan Metters and Jamie Bird from the bench. Troy Simpson lifted the ball past the onrushing Steve Mawthorpe in the Moneyfields goal but just wide of the post in the 75th minute.
With eight minutes left to play Bird and Metters were involved in the best move of the game which almost brought the visitors a deserved share of the points. Moving down the left Metters played and received a delightful 1-2 from Bird before whipping in a dangerous low cross from the byline. With a crowd of players arriving in the six yard box it was Simpson again who battled well to win the space between two defenders but got the ball caught between his feet, couldn’t get his shot away, and the ball was cleared from one-yard out.
Farm pressed hard for a leveller in the dying minutes but the new league leaders held on. The return game at The Creek on March 2nd is a definite date for your diaries.
(STAR MAN Chas Hemmings, Bristol Manor Farm)