Match Report: Hullbridge Sports 0 – 2 Dereham Town (Tues 10th Mar) [ILN 19/20 11.3.20]

Isthmian League Division North

Tuesday 10th March 2020 – 7.45pm KO

Venue: Len Salmon Stadium [3G]

Attendance: 70

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.

Teams

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

Match Report: Hullbridge Sports 1 – 4 Great Wakering Rovers (Boxing Day 2019) [ILN 19/20 26.12.19]

Isthmian League Division North

Venue: Lower Road

Attendance: 66

2019-20 Season: Match 48

Boxing Day (Thurs 26th December) 2019 – 3pm KO

Hullbridge: Blue & White Striped Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

Wakering:  Yellow Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks

 

20191226_145704
The Teams before KO (Image: Scott W)

Wakering earn win in a big battle at a sodden Lower Road

Hullbridge Sports  1 – 4 Great Wakering Rovers

Report & Photos by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)

It was only a ‘blink of an eye’ since Christmas Day had passed but in a very rare break from the usual family tradition on Boxing Day, I ventured out to continue the Non-League season with a welcome return to Lower Road to see two former ESL sides in Hullbridge Sports and Great Wakering Rovers in a Isthmian League Division North clash. Well I say that, though a hefty rain shower in the hour or so before kick-off nearly knackered the chances of there being any match to write about on this occasion. Without being over-the-top, it had left its mark but more on the conditions later.

Hullbridge named regular stopper Lewis Greene in goal, with a back four of Cortney Homans, Matt Rose and centre-backs Jamal Allen & recent signing Mike Agboola. Liam Nash made his first start since rejoining the club, alongside Adebola Sotoyinbo and Tim Monsheju in attack. The likes of Joe Wright, Callum Fitzer and Daniel Gilchrist were among the replacements. Wakering were just below the play-offs before kick-off and named the experienced Bobby Mason in goal, a central defence of Oliver Woodhouse and Joseph Heath with a front three of Jake Gordon, Martin Tuohy and Kojo Apenteng. Billy Johnson, Alfie Hilton and Dan Walker were some of the options on their bench.

As we got underway here, the rain was still adding to an already sodden outfield, with standing water accumulating in several areas altering the bounce of the ball and therefore making it more awkward to discern its path. Needless to say it wasn’t a slow start either, as barely a minute in forward Liam Nash tried a lob into the top corner which didn’t find the target before being cleared. Rovers went straight on the counter-attack through forward Jake Gordon’s surging run through the middle, though the conditions had a say in holding up his weak effort which was then bolted away from danger.


Hullbridge responded again, as tricky forward Adebola Sotoyinbo had a piercing drive deflected wide for a corner after only four minutes in. Both sides traded chances as they found it tough-going to really get the better of the elements though as the first half progressed, it was the visitors who gradually had the more impetus. Moments after having a goal chalked off for off-side, Wakering did take the lead on 22 minutes as Gordon broke free of the home backline before confidently slotting home low past ‘Bridge stopper Lewis Greene.  The visitors were then foiled by a combination of the conditions and poor finishing. Firstly, on the stroke of the half-hour, a searing cross in from the right nearly found energetic midfielder George Cox at the back post though he couldn’t get a telling touch. Skipper Adalberto Pinto, who will shortly depart for a new adventure abroad, then headed wide when well-placed from a free-kick. Then with seven minutes remaining before the break, a good Waketng move saw Cox play in pacy forward Kojo Apenteng who didn’t gamble to compete with ‘keeper Greene, who gathered well.

Rovers did get the telling second goal though as four minutes from the interval, evergreen forward Martin Tuohy found half a yard of space before stroking home calmly in a congested penalty area. At this point, it was the perhaps more experienced visitors who could settle and execute their plans better though the home side were hardly out of the contest, despite being below-par.

Half-Time: Hullbridge 0 – 2 Great Wakering

 

The flow of chances continued into the second half. Two minutes after the restart, GWR forward Apenteng getting past his marker well though his drive at goal lacked the power needed and Greene could gather at a comfortable height. The hosts started to find their rhythm soon after, as from a Tim Monsheju corner, centre-back Jamal Allen fizzed a header just off-target. Darren Manning’s side then made the most of a defensive lapse from the visitors on 55 minutes which saw substitute Callum Fitzer race clear from the halfway-line to catch the visiting defence napping and coolly finished low into the corner, beyond the reach of Wakering custodian Bobby Mason.

In the following phase that followed, the visitors showed their desire to triumph as challenges got more difficult (see photos above) which resulted in numerous bookings. In the latter stages, Rovers looked to secure the points and the ever-threatening Gordon broke clear of the home defence and with only Greene to beat, his effort drew a good save from the Hullbridge number one. Following a set-piece, Wakering midfielder Jack Stevenson weaved his way past his marker before his teasing cross evaded two teammates on the six-yard line before being cleared. Stevenson would go one better though with six minutes left to play, as his low strike beat Greene and covering defender Matt Rose to once again give Steve Butterworth’s side a two-goal advantage.

It was increasingly apparent that tensions were boiling over between the teams in the last few minutesand after dynamic midfielder Emmanuel Okunja had seen red following a lunging tackle, Wakering boss Butterworth also was dismissed from the touchline for two yellows, a quirk you don’t often see. It was that kind of all-action match though, and Wakering added more gloss to the score-line as Pinto netted with a firm header in added time.

Full-Time: Hullbridge Sports  1 – 4  Great Wakering Rovers

Wakering it was then who emerged from a truly physical yet engrossing battle between two former Essex Senior League champions with a deserved victory in what will go down as a match that for multiple reasons will live for some time in the memory. That is because there was so much to take in, for one thing, both teams adapting to horrid conditions which made both tackling and forward play tougher than usual. Both sides deserve great credit for showing so much determination and at times quality despite the odds not being in their favour.

In terms of stand-out performances, Wakering had a number of them with midfielders George Cox and Jack Stevenson putting in a big shift and showing good intent supporting their forwards. Forward Jake Gordon was also a real threat, unsettling the home defence with pace and movement while centre-back pairing Oliver Woodhouse and Joseph Heath also really contributed to a stern defensive showing for Steve Butterworth’s team. Forward Liam Nash stood out on his return to the Bridge Boys here, and full-back Courtney Homans and forward Tim Monsheju also contributed to their play in attack with neat passing and energy.

Finally, I’d like to thank Non-League colleague & Essex Senior President Rob Errington and Hullbridge themselves for the welcome & hospitality they gave us today. It is a real beacon for how clubs could be and it is warmly valued. Thanks also to Colin Webb.

Teams

Hullbridge Sports   | Manager: Darren Manning

 

Goal-scorers: Callum Fitzer [55’]

Booked: Gumbs, Rose, Allen | Sent Off: Okunja | Subs Not Used: Hornsley, Okah

 

Great Wakering Rovers    | Player-Manager: Steve Butterworth

1 Bobby Mason (GK), 2 Louie Hay, 3 Reece Conway, 4 Adalberto Pinto (Capt), 5 Joseph Heath, 6 Oliver Woodhouse, 7 Jake Gordon, 8 George Cox, 9 Martin Tuohy (14 Billy Johnson 69’), 10 Jack Stevenson (15 Jack Lelliott 89’), 11 Kojo Apenteng

Goal-scorers: Jake Gordon [22’], Martin Tuohy [41’], Jack Stevenson [84’], Adalberto Pinto [90’+1]

Booked: Heath, Pinto, Cox, Mason | Sent Off (from dugout): Butterworth | Subs Not Used: Artemi, Hilton, Walker

 

Referee: Craig Pullen

Assistant Referees: Dean Markwick & Charlie Roberts

 

Match Report: Hullbridge Sports 1 – 3 Canvey Island (Mon 25 August) [ILN 19/20 25.8.19]

Isthmian League Division North

Venue: Lower Road

Attendance: 228

2019-20 Season: Match 17

Monday 25th August 2019 – 3pm KO

Hullbridge: Blue &White Striped Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

Canvey:  Yellow Shirts, Yellow Shorts, White Socks

 

GKs Johnson & Budd in the Tunnel (HS v CI ILN 25.8.19)
Rival ‘keepers Johnson (Canvey) & Budd (H’bridge) in the tunnel as they enter the pitch [Image Credit: Andy W]

Canvey outgun Hullbridge in the Holiday Monday heat

Hullbridge Sports  1 – 3  Canvey Island

 

Report by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14) with main photos by Andy Wilkins [Twitter: @Wilkins_Media] & added photos by Scott W

The August Holiday weekend action was rounded off with a nice visit to Lower Road to see last season’s Essex Senior League champions Hullbridge Sports take on local rivals Canvey Island, an established Isthmian League North side. Darren Manning’s side were looking for their first win at Step 4 while Canvey had won both of their previous league games but had been in action on Saturday with a win at Step 6 Stotfold in the FA Cup. Hullbridge named a core of players that won that ESL title last term. Recent signing Rob Budd continued in goal, with a back four of full-backs Courtney Homans and Matt Rose plus centre-backs Jamal Allen and skipper Perry Dunn. Tim Monsheju and Nathan Scarborough led the three-man forward line, with Luke Hornsley, Yemi Adelani and Joe Wright all options on the bench.

Canvey named a strong side as well with Tobi Joseph and Josh Hutchinson on the flanks, supporting front pair Jason Hallett and captain George Purcell with forward Kane Gilbert and recent signing from ESL side Walthamstow, Samrai Gebrai options on the bench. The match begun in unforgiving, ferocious heat and any suggestion that Mark Bentley’s side may have been jaded from their FA Cup exploits 48 hours earlier was quickly snuffed out as their enterprising play needed home centre-backs Jamal Allen and Perry Dunn to be alert and make decent interceptions in the early stages.

Canvey gave their hosts a further warning as 12 minutes in, following a corner, skipper George Purcell’s rasping drive was deflected away. As it proved, it was an omen as minutes later, a defensive mix-up saw winger Josh Hutchinson break free at the far post before slotting home across goal past home custodian Rob Budd, into the corner. Recent signing Jason Hallett nearly made it two for the visitors on 18 minutes as his powerful effort sailed just wide. Hullbridge started to get back into the game more after the midway point of the half. Forward Tim Monsheju was their most creative spark as firstly his attempted chip on visiting goalkeeper Lamar Johnson went just over the woodwork before his fierce drive was saved by Johnson minutes afterward.

The Islanders’ defence was resolute in diminishing the clear-cut chances that the hosts could muster as the interval came, you felt it was the visitors who could have been further ahead.

Half-Time: Hullbridge 0 – 1 Canvey

 

After the break, with the sunshine still beating down, it was the visitors who had the early chances. Six minutes into the half, a peach of a deep in-swinging cross by centre-back Michael Finneran found Hallett well though the forward could only head over the bar. Midfielder Albert Levett was also making the odd threatening run as well to add to the visitors’ attacking presence. The hosts responded as substitute Luke Hornsley was denied when one-on-one with Johnson with 54 on the watch. Canvey did double their advantage a minute later as winger Tobi Joseph’s unselfish pass found Purcell who had the simple task of firing low past Budd.

To be fair to Mark Bentley’s side, their attacks were taking the opposition full-backs out of the game at times though Messrs Dunn and Allen coped admirably making several well-timed challenges at the back. Just past the hour, Hullbridge substitute Matt Baxter had a great chance to halve the deficit though he was denied well by Johnson with only the goalkeeper to beat. The visitors had dropped down a gear for parts of the second half though moments after bringing on lively young forward Samrai Gebrai for Hallett, the former Walthamstow player had a impact. With eleven minutes of normal time remaining, Gebrai’s neat ball in found Joseph who calmly slotted past Budd to pretty much secure the points for Canvey.

As the game entered its latter stages, home substitute Yemi Adelani was well-denied by Johnson while at the other end, a sweet strike by Purcell swivelling was well-parried away by Budd. Hullbridge did get their first league goal late on, after Dunn had headed over from a corner, Hornsley was felled in the 18-yard area with Adelani tucking away the resulting spot-kick. In fairness, it did not detract from the visitors being worthy winners here with a performance to match.

 

Full-Time: Hullbridge  1 – 3  Canvey Island

Canvey Ultras [HS v CI ILN 25.8.19]
The Canvey Ultras were in good voice today [Image Credit: Andy W]

Finally, congratulations to Canvey on their win and fair play as well to their supporters who added atmosphere throughout the match. My best wishes to Hullbridge as well this term, always good to see friends that we (me & my colleagues) have made in the past few years. Thanks also for their hospitality.

In terms of stand-out performances, Hullbridge still had a few with central defenders Jamal Allen and Perry Dunn among them, with Tim Monsheju also a threat while midfielder Emanuel Okunja and substitute Matt Baxter did well too. For Canvey, the front four of Joseph, Hutchinson, Hallett & Purcell all stretched the home backline while ‘keeper Johnson shone & substitute Gebrai also had an enterprising cameo here.

 

Teams

Hullbridge Sports   | Manager: Darren Manning

Rob Budd (GK), Courtney Homans, Matt Rose, Jamal Allen, Perry Dunn (Capt), Gregory Frederick (Matt Baxter 61’), Emmanuel Okunja, Jamie Salmon, Adebola Sotoyinbo (Luke Hornsley 46’), Nathan Scarborough (Yemi Adelani 77’), Timothy Monsheju

Goal-scorers: Yemi Adelani [pen 89’]

Booked: Scarborough, Okunja   | Subs Not Used: Wright, Gumbs

 

Canvey Island    | Manager: Mark Bentley

Lamar Johnson (GK), Adetayo Osifuwa, Sammy Knott (Dan Humphreys 61’), Michael Finneran, Elliott Warren, Rob Lacey (Kane Gilbert 76’), Tobi Joseph, Albert Levett, Jason Hallett (Samrai Gebrai 76’), George Purcell (Capt), Josh Hutchinson

Goal-scorers: Josh Hutchinson [14’], George Purcell [55’], Tobi Joseph [79’]

Booked: None  | Subs Not Used: Littlejohn, Dulieu

Referee: Craig Pullen

Assistant Referees: Dean Markwick & Charlie Roberts

 

ESL ‘Squads of the Season’ 2018-19 [ESL 4.5.19]

Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and welcome a run-down of the Essex Senior League ‘Squads of the Season’ that Pete and myself chose during our stand-alone episode for GFS, released this weekend.

Listen to it here: http://www.mixcloud.com/EastLondonRadio/gfs-squads-of-the-season-podcast-2018-19

Ground Rules

18-man squad (Starting XI & 7 substitutes)

No more than two players from the same club can be chosen in the squad

 

Peter’s Squad  (below)

 

Position Player Club/s
GK James Bransgrove Walthamstow
RB Lanre Vigo Clapton
CB Jack Grosvenor Woodford Town
CB Kamarl Duncan Sporting Bengal Utd
LB Courtney Homans Hullbridge
CM Conor Okus Redbridge
CM Callum Ibe Stansted
CM Lewis Francis Saffron Walden Town
ST Charncey Dash St Margaretsbury
ST Jimmy Cox Enfield
ST Mohamed Kargbo Southend Manor
Bench
GK Charlie Turner Stansted
Jason Todd Takeley
Samrai Gebrai Walthamstow
Flavio Jumo Tower Hamlets
Matt Rose Hullbridge
Izzy Ogedi-Uzokwe West Essex
Callum Maltese Ilford

 

And Scott’s Squad (below)

Position Player Club/s
GK Jack Coker West Essex
RB Courtney Homans Hullbridge
CB Sam West Stansted
CB Jamal Allen Hullbridge
LB Aiden Critchley Hoddesdon Town
RW Samrai Gebrai Walthamstow
CM Steven Carvell Sporting Bengal Utd
CM Callum Bloss West Essex
LW Lewis Francis Saffron Walden Town
ST Dwade James Walthamstow / Leyton Athletic
ST Temi Babalola Woodford Town
Bench
GK Charlie Turner Stansted
Luke Casey Ilford
Ellis Routledge Woodford Town
Kamarl Duncan Sporting Bengal Utd
Tyler Kemp Stanway Rovers
Charlie Portway Saffron Walden Town
Charncey Dash St Margaretsbury

Round-up: Essex Senior League (Sat 27 Apr) [ESL 28.4.19]

ESL Badge

Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and welcome to my final round-up of the Essex Senior League season, which saw 44 goals scored across the ten matches played. It ended in glory for one club, and anguish for another.

 

Sat 27 Apr

Barkingside  0 – 3  Hoddesdon Town   | Cricklefield | Att: 48

Hoddesdon ended their season with a good win over ‘Side at Cricklefield. Blue Gallagher put his side ahead on 14 minutes and that lead persisted until the interval. Connor Bolton [62’] & Joss Lillis [65’] strikes gave Simon Riddle’s side a cushion as they cruised to victory which took them past 50 points and kept 9th spot for them. Barkingside also announced yesterday that Alex Goldstone will be standing down from his role as manager, due to work commitments.

Clapton   7 – 1    Sporting Bengal Utd  | Old Spotted Dog | Att: 62

Jon Fowell’s final match in charge saw the Tons grab a big win over a depleted Bengal side at the Old Spotted Dog. Seven different players got the goals for the hosts – Bryan Kyungu, Lanre Vigo, Kirk McPherson, Ryan Reed, Giovanni Palmer, Greg Potts and Andy Greenslade all were on the scorers’ list. Yasir Rashid got the goal for Bengal though they were well-beaten here. Clapton finish in 11th spot, outside the top ten on goal difference. Bengal finish 8th, 11 points adrift of the top six but this is a second record-breaking season on the trot in terms of points for them.

Hullbridge Sports  2 – 1  Stanway Rovers   | Lower Road  | Att: 419

I attended this huge match for Hullbridge as they did the job with a win over gritty Stanway at Lower Road, in front of a huge crowd of over 400. Adebola Sotoyinbo’s brace did the job for his side, and though Stanway got a stoppage-time goal through substitute Jordan Blackman, it was Darren Manning’s team that toasted a brilliant season with promotion to the Bostik League for very first time. Many congrats to all at the club.

My extended report is here: survivor16b.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/match-report-hullbridge-2-1-stanway-sat-27-apr-esl/

Leyton Athletic  1 – 0  Stansted   |Wadham Lodge Stadium | Att: 37

Bottom side Leyton undoubtedly got the result of the day with a surprise win over Stansted at Wadham Lodge. Ike Izuchukwu got the only goal on the hour mark, after the visitors had missed a penalty. Ath held for only their fourth win of the season and arguably their best day of the campaign. Stansted suffered only their second loss in their last eight and finish in the runners-up spot though they could still win a Cup double if they capture the Errington Cup next Monday.

Saffron Walden Town  1 – 2  Woodford Town  | Catons Lane | Att: 353

Woodford ended a fruitful season with a fine win at Walden. Andrea Montovani’s free-kick and Mohammad Al-Dani goals turned things their way, with Jamie Riley netting for the hosts in front of a crowd of more than 300. It;s been a good season for the Bloods, having the highest crowds in the league though the odd poor result and occasionally leaky defence cost them the chance to get promoted this season, they finish fourth. Woodford finish a spirited campaign in 6th spot and have four wins in their last six. They hope to move in to Ashton’s in time for next season.

Sawbridgeworth Town    1 – 1   Enfield  | Crofters  | Att: 41

Sawbridgeworth ended a difficult season with this draw with Enfield. Daryl Doolan struck for the hosts while Tyler Fowles netted for the E’s. Both sides will look for better fortunes next term, as Sawbo finish 18th and also will be looking for a new gaffer in the summer as current incumbent John Watters announced yesterday he is stepping down after three years in the role. Enfield will leave the Harlow Arena and play at Bishop’s Stortford next term, they end this term in 14th spot.

Southend Manor   2 – 5   Walthamstow | Southchurch Park | Att: 60

‘Stow saw out the season how they’ve played this calendar year to grab a big win at Manor. Kieran Bishop got the ball rolling with the opener on 20 minutes, before Dwade James doubled that lead two minutes later. James completed yet another hat-trick [22’ & 45’] to vanquish any doubt he will end the season as the Essex Senior League top goal-scorer. Kye Jude did get one back two minutes before James’ third of the afternoon on 43 minutes though Manor were up against it. Reece Conway made it five before Mohamed Kargbo got a second for the hosts midway through the second-half. Manor finish 17th, 14 points clear of the bottom two. Ryan Maxwell’s side end the campaign third, with the second best defence in the league.

St Margaretsbury     0 – 10     Redbridge      |The Rec  | Att: 21

The Motormen ended their season with a massive win at ‘Bury. The home side couldn’t handle the visiting forwards as Daniel Gilchrist struck five here to get to 16 league goals this season for Redbridge. Taylor Tombides also grabbed a hat-trick, with Marcus Carter and Connor Okus also on the score-sheet in a win that sent Micky Wetherall’s team to a 12th place finish. St Margs still finished seventh despite this result in what’s been a season of change at the Rec. They are one of a few clubs looking for new management (& direction perhaps) next season.

Takeley   3 – 2  Ilford   | Station Road | Att: 62

Takeley edged to a late win over in-form Ilford at Station Road. The hosts took a two-goal lead into the break as Andre Humphreys struck on the half-hour, followed by Josh Sykes two minutes before the interval. The Foxes are a tough side though and two goals in 12 minutes saw them draw level. First, Andre Embalo netted on 58 minutes before Billy Golledge equalised with 20 minutes left. The drama didn’t end there as Nick Barrett struck a 92nd-minute penalty to end his side’s campaign with three wins in their last four and finish fourth, two points shy of Walden. Ilford finish tenth in what’s been a very solid campaign for them.

West Essex  1 – 1  Tower Hamlets    | Mayesbrook Park | Att: 28

Finally, the Stags warmed up for their Errington Cup Final date with Stansted next Monday with a hard-earned draw with resilent Hamlets at Mayesbrook Park. Tyreece Morris put the visitors ahead though West continued their good run as Michael Mignot got the leveller. Only one loss in their last seven means West finish 13th, three points off the top half. Hamlets have also finished well, unbeaten in their last four as they finish 16th, above Manor by a point.

That’s all for this week, and this ESL season. Many thanks to the regular readers of this column.

 

Match Report: Hullbridge Sports 2 – 1 Stanway Rovers (Sat 27 Apr) [ESL 28.4.19]

Essex Senior League

Venue: Lower Road

Attendance: 419

2018-19 Season: Match 75

Saturday 27th April 2019 – 3pm KO

Hullbridge: Blue &White Striped Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

Stanway:  Amber Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks

20190427_145530
Players pre-match, along with home mascots [Image: Scott W]

Hullbridge grab the win to secure their first ESL Title!!

Report & Photos by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14) with added photos by Neil Hunwicks [Twitter: @AbridgeTooFar16] & Hullbridge FC (@HullbridgeFC)

So this was it. The final day of the 2018-19 Essex Senior League campaign saw me return to Lower Road as part of a hefty crowd to see Hullbridge’s crunch match with Stanway Rovers, who have had an indifferent season. The equation was simple for Darren Manning’s team – win this match and Hullbridge’s first ESL title in nearly 30 years of being a member would be secure and with it, promotion to Bostik League North.

The anticipation for this one has risen in the last couple of weeks and the hosts fielded George Marsh between the sticks with George Whitby joining near ever-present Jamal Allen in central defence. The front three were Adebola Sotoyinbo, Joe Wright and Yemi Adelani with the likes of Nathan Scarborough and Luke Hornsley on an attack-minded substitutes’ bench. Stanway’s backline was comprised of full-backs Finn O’Reilly and skipper Tyler Kemp with Milo Grimes and Columbus Iyayi as centre-backs. Their forward line was led by target-man Mike Turner and the lively Amar Lewis.

To be fair to Rovers, they started the match well as they had an early sighter of goal though home custodian George Marsh was thankful to see sail wide. Forward Amar Lewis also presented a threat for Stanway, cutting inside from the left flank, reminding ‘Bridge that they needed to ‘stay on the front foot’ here. For the hosts, playmaker Matt Baxter certainly looked to set his team’s attacks going from deep, and on the quarter-hour, his ball fed full-back Courtney Homans whose telling cross was cut out well by Stanway skipper Tyler Kemp. Rovers ‘stopper Daniel Beeson was called into action moments later as after midfield engine Emmanuel Okunja scuffed his strike, forward Yemi Adelani struck the re-bound but to no avail.

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Action Still [Image: Scott W]
The hosts were gradually asserting themselves on-the-ball though Rovers made it difficult for them to pierce through their defence. Forward Joe Wright was giving Rovers a bit of a headache with his pace and trickery, peeling off the left though efforts from him and Baxter couldn’t bypass Beeson. With half-time approaching and the nerves steadily rising along with it, tricky forward Adebola Sotoyinbo made a surging run down the middle though his effort on goal lacked power as Beeson denied him and following-up, Adelani somehow struck over though his blushes were spared by the assistant’s raised flag. The lack of a final ball was affecting Hullbridge though after Rovers had scrambled the ball clear from not one but two goal-mouth scrambles, Okunja’s neat flick on the edge of the area found Adelani though he fizzed the ball wide of the far post.

Half-Time: Hullbridge 0 – 0 Stanway

As the second-half got underway, the home crowd thought they had cause to celebrate though centre-back George Whitby’s lashed strike was chalked off for off-side barely a minute after the re-start. Rovers were still in this contest as forward Mike Turner twice struck wide and only an important goal-line clearance by captain Matt Rose denied Stanway a goal that really would have added pressure on their hosts. Soon after that, news filtered though that rivals Stansted had fallen behind at Leyton Athletic so that added to the home crowd’s excitement. The Rovers side were starting to tire, though full-back Finn O’Reilly made a couple of lung-busting runs down the right channel, the second of which was well-marshalled by Sports centre-back Jamal Allen.

The deadlock was finally broken with 20 minutes remaining, much to the relief of the home fans. Sotoyinbo broke through the Rovers backline and coolly slotted low into the corner past Beeson whilst one-on-one, much to his side’s obvious delight. Beeson did well to deny Homans minutes later though he could do nothing about the hosts’ second goal. Substitute Luke Hornsley strike from a narrow angle was kept out by Beeson though on the edge of the box, Sotoyinbo’s crisp strike flew into the net to cue rapturous celebrations, both in the stands and on the field.

Stanway did half the arrears in added-time as from Scott Kemp’s good centre from the right, slack marking allowed substitute Jordan Blackman to nip in and slot home from close range. But in the grander scheme of things, with mere moments left before full-time, it was too little, too late.

Full-Time: Hullbridge  2 – 1  Stanway

Hullbridge WIN Essex Senior League Title & promotion to Bostik North.

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Trophy Presentation about to commence with players respecting each other in background [Image: Scott W]
As far as the match goes, it probably wasn’t Hullbridge’s stand-out performance this season, though these types of matches are seldom easy. It was a team showing today, though the front three of Sotoyinbo, Wright and Adelani all did well, even if the latter could have had two goals himself on other day. Centre-back Jamal Allen and playmaker Matt Baxter also had strong games, along with the influence of substitute Hornsley. For Stanway, their back four stood up well at times, with centre-back Columbus Iyayi making a number of important interceptions. Winger Scott Kemp and Amar Lewis also stood out in my view today.

So, the match was done and the celebrations could begin, first with the trophy presentation. Both of which you could say the players, management and off-field team really savoured. To be fair, why wouldn’t you? It’s been a hard season, which shows the depth and quality of the league at times, four teams got more than 75 points so that says a bit.

To close this report, I am happy to see Hullbridge progress into a new chapter into their history and you have to recall the turnaround that’s happened after the tough season last time out. Manager Darren Manning has driven this club to those said new heights in his first full season in management so he & his management team deserve plaudits for that.

In a way, it is sad that they leave the ESL as they are a credit to themselves, the league and Non-League football in general. I sincerely wish them well next season, and it’s been good to partly cover their journey over the last three years in the ESL & beyond.

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Management Duo Manning (R) & Wakeling (L) with the trophy [Image: Scott W]
Teams

Hullbridge Sports   | Manager: Darren Manning

George Marsh (GK), Courtney Homans, Matt Rose (Capt), Jamal Allen, George Whitby, Dan Okah, Emmanuel Okunja (Dan Okah 56’), Matt Baxter (Joe Skeels 86’), Adebola Sotoyinbo, Joe Wright (Nathan Scarborough 65’), Yemi Adelani (Luke Hornsley 57’)

Goal-scorers: Adebola Sotoyinbo [70’ & 87’]

Booked: Whitby   | Subs Not Used: Morrisey (GK), Monsheju

Stanway Rovers    | Manager: Danny Slatter

Daniel Beeson (GK), Finn O’Reilly, Tyler Kemp (Capt), Milo Grimes, Columbus Iyayi, Jett Hogan, Scott Kemp, Ruben Kennedy, Jack Puzey (Jordan Blackman 85’), Mike Turner (Niah Beecher 71’), Amar Lewis (Frank Tiffney 85’)

Goal-scorer: Jordan Blackman [90’+3]

Booked: Kennedy, S Kemp | Subs Not Used: None

Referee: Paul Newman

Preview: Essex Senior League (Final Day – Sat 27 Apr) [Fri 26.4.19]

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Archive: Title Rivals Stansted & Hullbridge face off back on March 30th

Written by Scott W   [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and a warm welcome to the final preview piece this season, looking at the ten ties that take place on the last day of the Essex Senior League campaign. There are still a few issues to be ironed out, chiefly this – who will be crowned Champions?

Thank you to all the regular readers of this column this season. Enjoy.

Sat 27 April

———

Barkingside  v  Hoddesdon Town   | Cricklefield

‘Side entertain Hoddesdon at Cricklefield, just two weeks after their reserve side sent the Lilywhites out of the Peter Butcher Trophy. Alex Goldstone’s side have averted finishing bottom of the league after three wins in their last seven matches though lost out last time out at West Essex ten days ago. Hoddy were held by Tower Hamlets last weekend in the only ESL match then. This may be a ‘dead rubber’ though both sides will want to end the campaign well, I’ll go for a narrow home win.

Scott’s Prediction:  2 – 1

Clapton    v    Sporting Bengal Utd  | Old Spotted Dog |

Sporting Bengal travel to the Old Spotted Dog to face Clapton in what is Jonny Fowell’s final match in charge of the Tons. They won late at Takeley ten days ago to give them only their second win in their last seven matches. Sporting return to league action here after a break, with their last league outing being a loss at Southend Manor three weeks ago. A top-eight finish is assured for them already though they could go 7th with a win. I feel the hosts will want to give their manager a good send-off though and therefore am going for a home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

 

Hullbridge Sports  v  Stanway Rovers   | Lower Road  |

For Hullbridge… this is it. They entertain Stanway at Lower Road knowing that only a win would absolutely guarantee their first ESL championship and elevation to Bostik League Division North. Only one loss in their last eight shows they are up there form-wise though this may be a different type of ‘pressure’ they face here. Rovers are on the face of it limping their way toward the end of the campaign in terms of results with four losses in their last seven though did confirm Danny Slatter at their permanent boss last week.

You know what they say about ‘Football isn’t played on paper’ and the understandable nerves will persist right until kick-off you suspect for the hosts. Stanway did hold West Essex last weekend at home and do have some talent in their side though if I’m being candid, I’d be pretty surprised if ‘Bridge did not ‘finish the job’ here and crown off a stellar season.

I’ll be at this game and it could well be an emotional one.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

 

Leyton Athletic  v  Stansted   |Wadham Lodge Stadium |

Stansted travel to Wadham Lodge to face bottom side Leyton Athletic. The Airportmen know they have to win to have any chance of usurping Hullbridge and taking the title. Leyton have lost their last five league matches so it would seem they are good opposition to face here. Stansted will be buoyed by their GBT success though and five wins in their last seven league games shows their consistent streak, which they have maintained all season.

This could go one or two ways, if Messrs Pittuck & Benterman’s team start strongly then it could be a goal-fest though they could also be frustrated by their hosts. That said, you have to go away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 0 – 3

 

Saffron Walden Town  v  Woodford Town  | Catons Lane

Walden’s first season back in the Essex Senior concludes with this interesting battle with another attack-minded side in Woodford at Catons Lane. Five wins in their last seven for Jason Maher’s team gives them a shot at a top-three finish, if other results go in their favour. They held off a late comeback by Manor two weeks ago to win then and have amassed 105 league goals this season, comfortably the highest-scorers in the division. Woodford are the third-highest scorers themselves so this could be an entertaining affair. Have to go with a home win here though.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 2

 

Sawbridgeworth Town    v   Enfield  | Crofters  |

Sawbridgeworth end their campaign with this home match with Enfield at Crofters. John Watters’ side have had a very tough campaign are winless in their last 12 matches. They got a creditable draw at St Margaretsbury two weeks ago in their last match. Incredibly, eight of their ten wins this season have come at home though and need to win to try to avoid finishing in the bottom three. Enfield defeated Clapton in their last match two weeks ago. Matt Hanning’s team have won two of their last three matches and could still finish as high as 11th with a win here, subject to other results going their way. Going to plump for a narrow away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

 

Southend Manor   v   Walthamstow | Southchurch Park |

Manor entertain Walthamstow in their final match. Adam Peek’s side are on an upturn with five wins in their last seven though narrowly lost out at Saffron Walden two weeks ago. They will look to leap out of the bottom five with a win though ‘Stow are also in super nick with nine wins in their last ten matches and they know a win would cement a hard-earned third-place finish. ‘Stow deafeat St Margaretsbury in their last match three weeks ago though would still reckon they will ‘do the job here’.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

 

St Margaretsbury     v     Redbridge      | The Rec  |

‘Bury welcome Redbridge to the Rec after a spirited display in their loss to Stansted in the Gordon Brasted Trophy Final on Easter Monday. A win here would secure seventh place in what has still been a good campaign for them. The Motormen have struggled to claim wins recently having also been somewhat depleted and lost out at home to Stansted last time out. Will the hosts’ young side be able to snuff out the guile of finishers like Dan Gilchrist? That’s what interests me. Gut instinct says narrow away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

 

Takeley   v  Ilford   | Station Road |

Takeley see out their campaign at home to the Foxes at Station Road.Marc Das’ side lost out late on to Clapton ten days back though are still strong with ‘home comforts’ Their overall form has been mixed of late and their opponents here are stronger away from Cricklefield as well. Martin Haywood’s side have won four of their last six and know that another three points will secure a top-ten finish. Getting past the miserly Takeley defence is seldom an easy task though and I feel compelled to head for a home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

 

West Essex  v  Tower Hamlets    | Mayesbrook Park |

The Stags play their last league match at Mayesbrook before it joins the ‘3G revolution’ next term as they face Tower Hamlets. West defeated Barkingside last time out and a win here could see them sneak inside the top ten. They may have the Errington Cup Final on their minds but they will seek to continue a good run of only one loss in their last six matches. Hamlets held Hoddesdon last week and are also in good touch with two losses in their last six outings. Draw for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

That’s all from the Preview pieces this term. Look out for the Round-up on Sunday/Monday. Cheers for reading.