Manor Farm retained their Southern League status on Saturday afternoon, following an immensely-composed victory over Western Premier League outfit Saltash United in the Inter-Step Play-Off Final, writes Jack Davies.
With the visiting side coming into the match full of confidence from their second-placed finish, Manor Farm were keen to make home advantage count and had a bulk of the game’s early chances. Josh Ford headed Jake Gosling’s free kick wide before Jayden Nielsen’s speculative volleyed also dropped just off target.
Ben Bament was almost sent wheeling away in celebration, however, the forward was denied an eighth goal since his return when Jordan Duffey parried his effort away at the near post.
Fullback Aron Robbins has a history of famous Farm goals, and he arguably got the best of the lot to give his side the lead. A strike worthy of winning any game as his sumptuous half volley, from fully 25 yards, flew past Duffey and nestled in the far top corner. As Manager Lee Lashenko expressed after the match, it’s been 12 months since we lost our beloved Chairman, Geoff Sellek, that was a goal sent from heaven.
Saltash were really struggling to get going as Farm battled on, with the home side looking more likely to score again. Bament came just inches from reaching a low Nielsen cross just before the break.
Farm started the second half as they did the first, comfortably on top. Bament was played through out wide early after the restart, but his low effort was smartly saved by Duffey who was doing a great job in denying Farm from getting that second.
Jayden Nielsen won both players’ and fans’ player of the season for Farm, and how fitting it was that he had the season’s final word? Bament managed to sneak an acute pass into the feet of Evander Grubb inside the penalty area and his cross was rifled into the near top corner by Nielsen to double the lead.
Saltash did finally create a presentable opportunity with five minutes left. Adam Carter headed over when unmarked in the middle of Farm’s area. The final whistle saw huge relief mixed with joyous celebration as Farm celebrated the life of beloved former Chairman Sellek, on the anniversary of his sad passing, with a performance he would have been very proud of.
If Carlsberg did Saturday’s…
STAR MAN – Aron Robbins