Essex Senior League
2018-19 Season – Match 33
Tuesday 13th November 2018 – 7.45pm KO
Hullbridge: Blue & White Striped Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks
West Essex: Yellow & Black Striped Shirts, Black Shorts, Yellow Socks
Hullbridge emerge with the points after late goals seal the win over West at Lower Road
Report by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14) with photos by Scott & @ABridgeTooFar16
Another midweek venture in this season’s Essex Senior League took me to Lower Road to see high-flying Hullbridge take on mid-table West Essex. The last two visits to this ground saw ‘Bridge held by Leyton Athletic and Ilford in league action. Darren Manning named a front three of captain Jimmy Cox, Luke Hornsley and Michael Salako with Joe Skeels and Matt Tapley in midfield. West’s season has been inconsistent thus far and after a two-week break from action, they named Jack Coker between the sticks with a back four of Emmanuel Wazola, Josh French, Nick Walk and Josh Kane though Joe Lefley, Sanchez Hardy and James Bromley were among those unavailable.
Both sides traded chances early on, as West goalkeeper Jack Coker denied Hullbridge forward Luke Hornsley only two minutes in. The visitors showed their penchant for counter-attacking with pace at times as well and they had their first half-chance ten minutes in as West midfielder Callum Bloss struck an effort wide. Hullbridge were awarded a penalty on twenty minutes after a foul on Hornsley in the area. Strike partner Jimmy Cox stepped up though his spot-kick crashed against the crossbar and out of play.
West continued to battle hard despite having to take off their main forward Ogedi-Uzokwe midway through the half and did have the odd foray forward though ‘Bridge did finish the half strongly, although the debate is there that they didn’t make the most of their chances. First, with three minutes to go until the break, a strike from home forward Michael Salako did beat Coker but was well-cleared off the line by covering defender Josh Kane. Moments later, a goal-mouth scramble saw the Stags twice deny their hosts on the line as a combination of the goalkeeper and visiting defence got in the way to preserve the stalemate at the break.
Half-Time: Hullbridge 0 – 0 West Essex
West came out after the break with renewed vigour and had some joy in midfield getting past the attack-minded hosts as midfielder Tanvir Ahmed put in a number of telling balls through to substitute forward Hakim Medfai, with the latter having three chances on goal in the opening 15 minutes of the half, though he couldn’t find a way past home stopper George Marsh.
West defender Josh French was perhaps a tad fortunate as another searching centre from the hosts was headed powerfully against his own crossbar. The visitors’ impeccable record during the evening of clearing shots off the goal-line was extended early in the half and as we got into the middle part of the half, it seemed as though the hosts had rather ‘run out of energy’. The Stags had the odd chance of their own as on 72 minutes a powerful effort by Medfai called Marsh into action, sprawling across well to parry the low strike wide. Minutes later, a good ball in from the right by stand-in right-back Emmanuel Wazola found skipper Tom MacLeod though his header was gathered by Marsh.
‘Bridge responded with hunger as Hornsley was a thorn in the visiting defenders’ sides in the latter stages. After he had sent two half-chances wide, a third oppurtunity in the space of five minutes was well-blocked by Coker though it was a sign of late drama to come. With two minutes of normal time remaining, Hornsley’s ball in from the right was seized on by substitute Nathan Scarborough who made no mistake at the near post. Barely a minute later, the visitors’ luck ran dry as another Hornsley cross was pushed away by Coker though it fell to Salako who calmly slotted home to finally put the match to bed that they could have made easier for themselves.
Full-Time: Hullbridge Sports 2 – 0 West Essex
To be absolutely fair, Hullbridge created too many chances to not deserve the win though they could do with being sharper in terms of finishing. In my view, Joe Skeels, Luke Hornsley and Michael Salako stood out for the hosts tonight. West have reasons to be pleased with this performance. They do have grit and determination in abundance as they frustrated their opponents and played good football themselves at times as midfielder Tanvir Ahmed, ‘keeper Jack Coker and the central defensive pair of Josh French and Nick Walk did well for them.
Hullbridge Sports | Manager: Darren Manning
George Marsh (GK), Matt Dicks, Matt Rose, Sam Taylor, Jamal Allen, Perry Dunn, Joe Skeels, Matt Tapley (Adebola Sotoyinbo 69′), Jimmy Cox (Capt) (Nathan Scarborough 69′), Luke Hornsley, Michael Salako
Goal-scorers: Nathan Scarborough [88′], Michael Salako [89′]
Booked: Dunn | Subs Not Used: Skinner, Coe, McLeavy
West Essex | Manager: Kwame Kwateng
Jack Coker (GK), Emmanuel Wazola, Josh Kane, Josh French, Nick Walk, Tanvir Ahmed (Symeon Taylor 65′), Greg Frederick, Callum Bloss, Izzy Ogedi-Uzokwe (Hakim Medfai 21′), Cameron Gray
Booked: None | Subs Not Used: McNally