Isthmian League Division North
Tuesday 10th March 2020 – 7.45pm KO
Venue: Len Salmon Stadium [3G]
2019-20 Season: Match 62
Hullbridge: Blue & White Hooped Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks
Deeham: Greeen Shirts, White Shorts, White Socks
Dereham’s fast-paced attack grabs the points with win at Hullbridge
Hullbridge Sports 0 – 2 Dereham Town
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
A ‘bonus’ match saw me travel to the Len Salmon Stadium to see last season’s Essex Senior champions Hullbridge Sports continue their Isthmian League North campaign with a ‘home’ match against Dereham Town. ‘Bridge had a mixed week with a heavy loss to Cambridge City a week ago being part-vanquished by a decent point at Bury Town last weekend. Darren Manning fielded an unchanged side from that draw at Bury Town, with Lewis Greene between the sticks and in front of him, a defence of full-backs Courtney Homans and skipper Matt Rose with Michael Agboola and Jamal Allen as centre-backs. Jamie Salmon and Emmanuel Okunja made up the central midfield with Daniel Gilchrist and Joe Wright leading the line. Forwards Dan Walker and Kieran Bishop were among the options from the bench. Dereham were in decent form coming into this match, having won 3 – 1 away to Brentwood Town last weekend.
Adam Gusterson’s Magpies side featured Elliot Pride in goal, with Shaun Wones among the centre-backs and in central midfield, George Quantrell and David Hinton were named with a front three of Nathan Stewart, Ryan Crisp and top-scorer Adam Hipperson. The added factor here was that this is my first visit to the Bowers & Pitsea’s Len Salmon Stadium since it went 3G and goodness, the good talk I’ve heard about it is more than accurate, so fair play to Rob Small’s side on that development.
Onto the match and in the early-going, Dereham started well with the lively Nathan Stewart being denied by a timely interception by Sports centre-back Michael Agboola on four minutes. Minutes later, a good run down the middle by the rapid Adam Hipperson fed Stewart with an unselfish pass though with the angle on goal declining with only home custodian Lewis Greene to beat, his strike was well-blocked by Greene getting down low. At this point, the Hullbridge goal was living a tad of a charmed life as a succession of corners heaped the pressure on as the nippy visiting front line gave the home backline enough to handle with mazy runs.
With eighteen minutes on the watch, Hullbridge ventured forward and box-to-box midfielder Emmanuel Okunja played in forward Daniel Gilchrist as he bared down on goal, though visiting goalkeeper Elliot Pride did well to deny his strike. Joe Wright followed up in the next attack with an attempted chip which lacked the finesse to bypass Pride. Midway through the half, a fine long ball sprayed in by experienced midfielder Jamie Salmon found Wright down the right channel and Wright’s cut-back only just escaped the run of onrushing winger Callum Thompson, who felt he was impeded.
The Magpies responded at the other end, taking advantage of a defensive lapse by the hosts as Stewart ghosted in, though with only Greene to beat, the advancing forward’s drive was well-blocked by Greene’s legs. As we entered the last few minutes before the interval, Agboola made a couple of good interceptions for the hosts though Stewart made a fine run down the left-side on the penalty box, evading Agboola in the process but unfortunately for Adam Gusterson’s side, his effort was tame and Greene could gratefully gather. ‘Bridge had periods in the half but ultimately their final ball was letting them down, plus Dereham showed their pace and passing game enough to make you feel this wasn’t going to stay a stalemate.
Half-time: Hullbridge 0 – 0 Dereham
Hullbridge changed their system just before the hour, with Kieran Bishop and Dan Walker replacing Gilchrist and midfielder Gregory Frederick who worked hard in breaking up the opposition attacks. Soon after coming on, Walker was played in by full-back Courtney Homans’ long-throw and his strike was well-saved by Pride in the Dereham goal. The deadlock was finally broken midway through the half as a free-kick from the half-line fell to Dereham skipper David Hinton after Sports were unable to clear their lines defensively and Hinton weaved away from a couple of defenders before striking low and calmly past Greene to give the visitors a deserved lead.
To their credit, Hullbridge kept trying to get back on level terms showing passion and energy, though that crucial final pass continued to elude them and the frustration was starting to show. With eleven minutes remaining, another defensive mix-up allowed the tireless Ryan Crisp in on goal, though Allen got in first to pick his pocket before facing Greene one-on-one.
Then, in added-time, Crisp got his reward for holding on to a ‘lost cause’ down the left wing, before gliding impressively past three defenders and working the angle to slot past Greene from about five yards out. Not one for the home defence to remember perhaps, though Crisp’s ninth league goal this term sealed the points.
Full-Time: Hullbridge Sports 0 – 2 Dereham Town
In all fairness, it was the right result as Dereham had more than enough chances to score and win the game conclusively and they did play some really good stuff at times, though it is a credit to ‘Bridge that the Magpies didn’t look quite so assured in defence in the second half.
In my view, the stand-out performances for Dereham were tireless forward Ryan Crisp who typified his work rate with a well-taken goal in added-time. Playmaker David Hinton got his side going supporting the frontline and also took his goal well, with Nathan Stewart also having a lot of joy on the right flank with his pace and directness. Shaun Wones also stood out with an assured performance at centre-back. For Hullbridge, on a difficult evening, centre-back pairing Michael Agboola and Jamal Allen played their part to repel the fast-paced Magpies attacks, though goalkeeper Lewis Greene had a fine match with at least five good saves. Dan Gilchrist also did a fair wad of unselfish work up front down the channels for the Bridge Boys.
Finally, as ever I would like to say thank you to Hullbridge for their welcome & hospitality. Also, my thanks to the Webb family. Best wishes to both sides for the remainder of the season. Dereham went up into eighth place with this win, while Hullbridge remain in 16th, seven points clear of the relegation spot.
Hullbridge Sports | Manager: Darren Manning | Assistant Mgr: James Wakeling
1 Lewis Greene (GK), 2 Courtney Homans, 3 Matt Rose (Capt), 4 Jamal Allen, 5 Michael Agboola, 6 Gregory Frederick (10 Daniel Walker 54′), 7 Callum Thompson, 18 Jamie Salmon, 8 Emmanuel Okunja, 9 Daniel Gilchrist (16 Kieran Bishop 54′), 11 Joe Wright (12 Tim Monsheju 74′)
Booked: None | Subs Not Used: Rahman Fujah, Garrett-Douglas
Dereham Town | Manager: Adam Gusterson | Assistant: Olly Willis
1 Elliot Pride (GK), 2 Thomas Matthews, 3 Owen Murphy, 4 Robbie Linford, 5 Tomas Snapkauskas, 6 Shaun Wones, 7 Nathan Stewart (12 Lagshan Sivakumar 90′ +1), 8 George Quantrell, 9 Ryan Crisp, 10 David Hinton (Capt), 11 Adam Hipperson
Goal-scorers: David Hinton [67′], Ryan Crisp [90′ +2]
Booked: None | Subs Not Used: Willis, Smith
Referee: Jamie Pope
Assistant Referees: Kennedy Kikulwe & Andy Simmonds