Essex Senior League
Venue: Burroughs Park
2017-18 Season: Match 40
Saturday 18th November 2017 3pm KO
Great Wakering: Green & White Striped Shirts, White Shorts, White Socks
Hullbridge Sports: Blue & White Striped Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks
Written by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)
On a chilly afternoon at Burroughs Park, Great Wakering Rovers welcomed Hullbridge Sports in another Essex Senior League encounter. Wakering kept the nucleus of their side with Messrs Richmond and Bryan leading the line while Hullbridge gave a full debut to recent signing Sam Kimmence.
The hosts started this match in the best possible fashion as only a minute into proceedings, a cross from the left flank found box-to-box midfielder Aaron Russell whose near-post header beat visiting goalkeeper Lewis Catling. Hullbridge responded soon after though midfielder Tom Ranger sent two efforts wide of goal.
The visitors were the architects of their own downfall at times in this match and this was the case when on seven minutes, an errant back-pass found its way between visiting defenders and midfielder Billy Johnson ghosted in, nicked the ball, ran into the area and rounded Catling then struck home well. The visiting defence were under pressure by this point, Catling made a good save to deny Rovers a third within the opening twenty minutes of the game.
Wakering made it three on 24 minutes through a Neil Richmond penalty, struck well into the left corner of the net. The visitors then had a goal ruled out, winger Charlie Buffin the unfortunate party. Captain Jimmy Cox then brought a save from Rovers custodian Rees Hawkins. Just shy of the half-hour, full-back Jason Ring’s cross from the right found Richmond though after a good turn, he blasted his shot wide.
Eight minutes before the break, substitute Jay Nash spurned a decent chance as his drive at goal was well-saved by Catling. A fairly rare Hullbridge attack saw Cox’s lofted ball in for fellow forward Oliver Miller saved by Hawkins, five minutes before the break though Wakering were comfortably ahead in this one at the interval.
Half-Time: Great Wakering 3 – 0 Hullbridge Sports
Four minutes after the break, the hosts extended their lead with another spot-kick from Richmond after fellow forward Chris Bryan was felled in the area. Bryan then blasted an effort wide after being found well by full-back Jimmy Cook just past the hour. Hullbridge forward Miller had a header comfortably saved by Hawkins though in truth, the forward line didn’t have much oppurtunity to shine throughout, partly down to the typically solid and committed nature of the home defence.
Wakering pushed for more goals though Johnson and Richmond couldn’t find the target after decent build-up play. Hullbridge did get a consolation on 71 minutes though as Buffin fed Miller who struck a low shot home well from a narrow angle. Unfortunately, that joy was short-lived as the hosts struck again from close range five minutes later. Richmond completed another hat-trick late-on with a close-range strike.
Hawkins had to be alert to deny a good strike by Hullbridge substitute Sam Dulieu as we crept into injury-time though the visitors’ difficult afternoon was compounded as Wakering captain Scott Pethers powered a 20-yard strike into the right corner with virtually the last-kick of the match.
Full-Time: Great Wakering 7 – 1 Hullbridge
Credit has to go to Wakering for a dominant performance and they go above Clapton into 5th place in the table. If they keep playing like this then they will be right in the promotion shake-up at the end of the campaign. As for Hullbridge, well as a neutral, I felt deflated for them though this might be a turning point for them. They fall to the bottom of the pile after Waltham Forest’s win today. Manager Darren Manning has made signings and that may spin things around when they come into the team.
Great Wakering: Rees Hawkins (GK), Jason Ring (Charlie Seaden 60′), Jimmy Cook, Scott Pethers (C), Oliver Woodhouse (Louis Robinson 60′), Sam Carter (Jay Nash 21′), Billy Johnson, Ricky Evans, Neil Richmond, Chris Bryan, Aaron Russell
Goal-scorers: Russell [1′], Johnson [12′], Richmond [pen 24′, pen 49′, 88′], Unknown [76′], Pethers [90’+3]
Booked: Evans | Sub Not Used: Dopson
Hullbridge Sports: Lewis Catling (GK), Shawn Coe, Sam Taylor, Ben Perry (Michael Edgar 51′), Angus Poole, Ollie Quick, Tom Ranger (Sam Dulieu 65′), Charlie Buffin, Oliver Miller, Jimmy Cox (C), Sam Kimmence (Howard Wright 76′)
Goal-scorer: Miller [71′]
Booked: Buffin, Perry | Subs Not Used: Offord, Gerada