Essex Senior League
Venue: Lower Road
2017-18 Season: Match 35
Tuesday 7th November 2017 7.45pm KO
Hullbridge Sports: Blue & White Striped Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks
Great Wakering Rovers: Green & White Striped Shirts, Green Shorts, Green Socks
Scott W reporting (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)
On a rainy Tuesday evening at Lower Road, Hullbridge Sports welcomed in-form Great Wakering Rovers in another Essex Senior League encounter. For the hosts, Aaron Hunwicks played at right-back, with captain Jimmy Cox being deployed in an unfamiliar holding midfield role, with Ollie Miller leading the line. Wakering kept a fairly settled side with Neil Richmond and Jay Nash leading in attack.
The visitors started the match the stronger of the two sides with forward Jay Nash twice having efforts on goal, the latter being cleared on the line after home goalkeeper Lewis Catling spilled fellow forward Neil Richmond’s initial free-kick. Rovers did take the lead ten minutes in, as Richmond found himself in a good position in the area, Hullbridge defender Sam Taylor failed to clear under pressure and Richmond helped himself to a tap-in. The same player nearly made it two just four minutes later though Catling denied him following a long-ball forward.
Hullbridge were defending for their lives though there was a sense that Rovers would press home their advantage and they did so on 26 minutes when a good right-wing cross found winger Billy Johnson who had a simple header from a couple of yards out into the net. Rovers extended their lead in unfortunate circumstances for the hosts as home defender Angus Poole’s pass back to Catling bobbled on the slippy pitch, over the custodian’s foot and into the left corner. Hullbridge’s attacking moments were few and far between with midfielder Sam Dulieu’s shot drawing a save from visiting goalkeeper Rees Hawkins. In the main, the visitors were pretty dominant at this point.
Half-Time: Hullbridge 0 – 3 Great Wakering
After the break, Iain O’Connell’s men pushed to extend their advantage early on as Catling did well to keep Johnson’s shot nine minutes after the re-start. The hosts’ defence did get a few good blocks in, led by the stoic centre-back pairing of Rob Hodgson and Angus Poole. Sports were battling better since the interval though were still lacking potency up top with forward Ollie Miller not getting a huge degree of service. That said, the forward did his best to stretch the visiting defence, marshalled by skipper Scott Pethers.
The hosts pulled one back with 18 minutes remaining as winger Charlie Buffin’s drive beat Hawkins to make it 1-3. The visitors did have a different look about them in attack since Richmond departed at the break and midfielder Ricky Evans’ drive was just off-target with 11 minutes to play. The hosts pulled closer with two minutes to go as Charlie Buffin grabbed another, though I’m not sure he knew all about it. The hosts rallied as they pushed for a leveller, which seemed improbable at half-time.
Wakering had a chance late in added-time though substitute Chris Bryan brought another good save out of Catling. Wakering had the odd nervy moment to contend with though the most important thing is the three points. Hullbridge will know they can’t keep conceding big deficits and expect to come back though their spirit as ever deserves a mention. As does the introduction of local lad Shawn Coe who came off the bench to make his debut tonight for Hullbridge, having played at the club for over a decade, going through the age groups and reserve side. Best wishes Shawn.
Full-Time: Hullbridge Sports 2 – 3 Great Wakering Rovers
Charlie Buffin 72′ & 88′ | Richmond 10′, Johnson 26′, Poole OG 34′
Lewis Catling (GK), Aaron Hunwicks, Sam Taylor (Shawn Coe 67′), Jimmy Cox (C) (Tom Ranger 72′), Rob Hodgson, Angus Poole, Charlie Buffin, Jamie Buffin (Howard Wright 85′), Ollie Miller, Sam Dulieu, Charlie Gerada
Subs Not Used: Nathan Burrell, Damien Siemienczuk
Goal-scorers: Charlie Buffin [72′ & 88′]
Great Wakering Rovers
Rees Hawkins (GK), Jason Ring, Louis Robinson (Charlie Seaden 85′), Scott Pethers (C), Oliver Woodhouse, Samuel Carter, Billy Johnson, Ricky Evans, Neil Richmond (Bradley Nobbs 46′), Jay Nash (Chris Bryan 76′), Aaron Russell
Subs Not Used: Jimmy Cook, Finley Dopson
Goal-scorers: Neil Richmond [10′], Billy Johnson [26′], Angus Poole OG [34′]