Essex Senior League
Venue: Lower Road
2017-18 Season – Match 56
Date: Saturday 24th February 2018 – 3pm KO
Hullbridge Sports: Blue & White Shirts, Blue Shorts and Blue Socks
Wadham Lodge: Red Shirts, Red Shorts & White Socks
Scott W Reporting (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)
With photos by Neil Hunwicks (Twitter: @ABridgeTooFar16)
On a freezing cold day at Lower Road, Hullbridge welcomed Wadham Lodge for a crunch match at the bottom of the table. Hullbridge were missing the likes of Jimmy Cox and Russell Harley though still could name Luke Hornsley (captain for the day as well), Callum Ibe, Michael Salako and Rob Hodgson in their starting XI. Wadham’s attack was led by evergreen striker Sherwin Stanley, with Paul Oshin and on-loan goalkeeper Louie Chapman also in the starting XI, with Abdoulie Njai and Abiola Tanimowo options on the bench for Jason Ngandu’s side.
The hosts began the match the stronger with several forays forward, though efforts on goal from forward Luke Hornsley and full-back Charlie Buffin couldn’t get past visiting goalkeeper Louie Chapman. Wadham did also have a glimmer at goal in the early stages with forward Sherwin Stanley being well-tackled by home defender Dan Okah before having an effort from distance.
Although the hosts had more of the chances in the first half, they didn’t really have the urgency or tempo that they needed and Hornsley was a little isolated up top at times. That said, in the latter stages of the half, forward Callum Ibe’s free-kick was parried away well by Chapman. Moments later, Wadham midfielder Jerome Mtumba’s shot needed the intervention of home custodian Jamie Merralls.
Half-Time: Hullbridge Sports 0 – 0 Wadham Lodge
After the first-half stalemate, this match needed to liven up a bit and it certainly did though not in the way the hosts would’ve liked. Five minutes into the second period, indecision by Merralls gave winger Danny Francis enough room to lob the ball over him into an empty net after breezing past the home defence. Not one for the back five to savour that. Still, the hosts were behind for only four minutes before Callum Ibe rounded opposition defenders before blasting home past Chapman to level things up.
It got better for Darren Manning’s side on 62 minutes as full-back Matt Rose ghosted into the area, and found himself one-on-one with Chapman before slotting home well, after being picked out by Hornsley. This lead was wafer-thin though and Wadham were passing the ball around well and restored parity nine minutes later when substitute Abdoulie Njai blasted an effort into the far corner from around 15 yards. The visitors were in the midst of a good spell at this point, with Njai blasting over the bar minutes later and if they had found a better final ball, they had chances to pinch it.
Perry Hirst’s effort went over the bar late on for Hullbridge though Wadham held firm to take a share of the spoils here. Hullbridge did have more than enough chances to win this encounter though quite a few passes also went astray on a frustrating afternoon for the hosts. Wadham may be the happier side to take a point though it doesn’t really benefit either team given both sides’ current predicament in the bottom four.
Full-Time: Hullbridge Sports 2 – 2 Wadham Lodge
Jamie Merralls (GK), Charlie Buffin, Matt Rose, Eamon Payne, Dan Okah, Rob Hodgson, Perry Hirst, Matt Tapley (Harry Watkins 74′) Luke Hornsley (Capt), Callum Ibe, Michael Salako
Goal-scorers: Callum Ibe [54′], Matt Rose [62′]
Booked: Salako | Subs Not Used: Taylor, Dicks, Pattison & Siemienczuk
Louie Chapman (GK), Ashley Banks, Deniz Alici (Abdoulie Njai 46′), Paul Oshin, Mario Hoxa (Chris Gormley 68′), Terry Foxe, Nathan Joseph, Jerome Mtumba, Sherwin Stanley (Capt) (Abiola Tanimowo 63′), Brian Simpson, Danny Francis
Goal-scorers: Danny Francis [50′], Abdoulie Njai [71′]
Booked: Ntumba | Subs Not Used: Akanbi, Tuitt
Referee: Steve Marr
Assistants: Jeremy Mott & Jack Morris