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Blues in a rut as poor run goes on

PUBLISHED: 16:44 30 January 2008 | UPDATED: 14:10 02 July 2010

SO CLOSE . . . Barking striker Steve Slade shoots wide during Saturday’s defeat at the hands of Southend Manor.    Pic: Terry Gilbert.

SO CLOSE . . . Barking striker Steve Slade shoots wide during Saturday's defeat at the hands of Southend Manor. Pic: Terry Gilbert.

ESSEX SENIOR LEAGUE Barking 1 Southend Manor 2 BARKING S disappointing run of recent form continued on Saturday as they slumped to their third successive defeat with a 2-1 reverse against Southend Manor. The Blues began brightly enough, with recent signin

ESSEX SENIOR LEAGUE

Barking 1 Southend Manor 2

BARKING'S disappointing run of recent form continued on Saturday as they slumped to their third successive defeat with a 2-1 reverse against Southend Manor.

The Blues began brightly enough, with recent signing Neil Matthews demonstrating his passing skills and after six minutes Jimmy Noakes, who has returned to the club along with Duane Miller, won a good header to set up a chance which Manor keeper Adam Seal, expertly turned away for a corner.

But after Johnny Offei came close with a low shot across goal, Barking fell behind when keeper Clark Wells failed to connect properly with a punched clearance leaving Ross Webster a simple chance to head home.

The hosts nearly equalised almost immediately when an accurate Matthews free-kick was headed on to the bar by Matthew Toms and after Wells tipped over a Manor cross-cum-shot, Fabio Jesus was narrowly off target with a set piece as the visitors went into the break a goal to the good.

The second period started with Barking on the back foot as within a minute of the restart, Manor had hit the post and Wells was forced to save with his legs as the visitors looked for a second.

On 57 minutes came a moment of madness from Darren Bennett as he was shown the red card without even setting foot on the field of play after the comments he made to the assistant referee were drawn to the attention of the man in the middle who promptly gave Bennett his marching orders.

After that rather strange incident, Blues boss Dave Ross tried to inject more of an attacking thrust into his side with the introductions of Michael Lee and another new signing, Junior Konadu, who along with Offei and Dee Okojie made the world final of the 2006 Nike Joga 3 Championship in Rio de Janeiro.

Minutes later and Barking produced their best passing move of the game when Matthews, Noakes and Steve Slade combined to create a chance for Noakes which was forcefully snuffed out by former Blue Jon Wheatstone.

Ross made another change to personnel when Miller entered the fray and Barking went to a 4-3-3 formation but minutes later, Manor effectively sealed the win when a free kick was headed back across goal for sub Wilf Misiska to slide home.

After going two goals behind Barking started to create their best chances as Toms' header from a Miller long throw was cleared off the line but the reprieve was short-lived.

With a minute left on the clock, Barking pulled a goal back when the tireless Noakes' cross was only cleared as far as Matthews whose first time shot beat Seal.

Matthews' strike proved too little, too late for the Blues and Manor held on for all three points leaving Barking to contemplate a tough run of games ahead that start with Saturday's trip to Bowers & Pitsea, followed by a visit to Ware to take on league leaders Enfield 1893.

Barking: Wells, Paul, Toms, Scadden, Greenwood (Miller 74), Jesus (Konadu 65), Ofei (Lee 62), Matthews, Slade, Noakes, Coleman. Subs not used: Adejokun, Bennett.

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