S21-22 Match Report: Hullbridge Sports 0 – 1 Witham Town (Mon 30 Aug) [ILN 31.8.21]

Isthmian League – Division North

Venue: Lower Road

Attendance: 261

2021-22 Season: Match 17

Monday 30th August 2021 – 3pm KO

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

Witham: Yellow Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts, Yellow Socks


Resilent Witham win narrowly at Lower Road

Hullbridge Sports  0 – 1  Witham Town

Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
with added photos by Neil Hunwicks [@ABridgeTooFar16]. Used with permission & thanks.

We had an added treat on this August Bank Holiday Monday with a rare trip into the Isthmian League via local club Hullbridge Sports, as they welcomed an early form side in Witham Town to Lower Road. The new-look Hullbridge side are still gelling it would seem as they’ve lost both League matches thus far, whilst Witham had won both of theirs. Darren Manning’s side elected to field ex-Witham stopper Luca Collins in goal, with a defence of full-backs Rhamar Garrett-Douglas and Callum Thompson with Jake Knight and Dexter Peter skippering the side & making his return after a long-term injury. The forward line was led by ex-Redbridge forward Tony Martin, with support from Lewis Francis and Joao Carlos. From the sidelines, the options included stalwart Matt Rose and recent additions in Charlie Cole, Michael Mignot and Nathan Scarborough. Witham had experienced goalkeeper Rob Budd between the posts, with Kye Jude and captain Billy Willis in central defence. Their forward line consisted of former ‘Bridge hero Luke Hornsley and Ben Search, with support from the flanks by Adam Cheniti and Amaree Robinson-Jones. On their bench were forwards Chinedu Osadebe and Chris Taylor and prospects Jordi Popple and Jamahi Godward.


Witham’s Luke Hornsley holds off Hullbridge’s Rhamar Garrett-Douglas [Image by @ABridgeTooFar16]

In the early stages of this match, it was the visitors who first sent a warning of their intent as five minutes in, a cross in by forward Luke Hornsley was half-cleared by the ‘Bridge defence, but strike partner Ben Search fired in a fine strike but home custodian Luca Collins could gather well enough. The home side responded two minutes later as a set-piece was delivered into the danger area and centre-back Jake Knight’s header was somehow cleared off the goal-line in the nick of time.

Unsurprisingly, that provoked a reaction in Marc Benterman’s team and in a good forward move, winger Amaree Robinson-Jones found Hornsley before the latter fired narrowly wide of goal. Hullbridge were starting to find their rhythm, buoyed by midfielder Brad Russell’s creative passes and were well-denied on 16 minutes. From a Lewis Francis free-kick, central midfielder Lewis Watson rose highest and his header was saved well at point-blank range by Witham ‘keeper Rob Budd. The chances were starting to come for Hullbridge but they couldn’t find the finishing to really open up a commmanding lead. Joao Carlos and Francis were both unable to defeat Budd when well-placed soon afterward.


All the while, the visitors were showing they were more than decent on the counter-attack, with wingers Adam Cheniti and Robinson-Jones showing good pace and movement to test the home backline. Hornsley had a decent strike chalked off for off-side which denied Witham the lead on the half-hour, before the hosts lost Brad Russell to a hamstring injury seven minutes before half-time, with Charlie Cole replacing him. Home forward Tony Martin was showing good link-up play but they squandered another decent chance on the half-time whistle as from full-back Rhamar Garrett-Douglas’ set-piece, forward Charlie Cole could only head wide of the target.

Half-Time:  Hullbridge 0 – 0 Witham


After the break, Witham did force a couple of set-pieces in the first ten minutes of the second period. On fifty-two minutes, more good work by Hornsley in the build-up found the advancing Adam Cheniti whose effort on goal was well-saved by Collins. The hosts’ struggles with finishing promising moves continued on the hour as Callum Thompson fizzed in another good cross from the left side though Cole unfortunately couldn’t connect with it as it sailed wide.

Hullbridge paid a hefty price for not taking the chances they had as Witham broke the deadlock on sixty-two minutes. Substitute Chinedu Osadebe had his initial shot blocked by a well-placed defender but the ball ran on to Cheniti and lashed a low strike past the dive of Collins into the right-side corner. Hullbridge pushed hard to find a equalizer, putting on substitutes Nathan Scarborough and Michael Mignot for Carlos and Francis. Midway into the half, Scarborough put in a teasing cross which found Mignot but his header lacked the power to beat Budd, who parried well.


Watson rises highest but can’t bypass Witham GK Budd [Image by @ABridgeTooFar16]

Witham had an occasional chance at the other end moments later, but Cheniti was denied by Collins. Collins was in action again soon after to claw away a couple of in-swinging set-pieces as the visitors looked to make the points safe. Osadebe had a good strike chalked off by the assistant’s flag but Witham managed to withstand a barrage of crosses in the last few minutes, though a combination of determined defending and an unfortunate Mignot sending an effort narrowly wide meant that the howe crowd were frustrated.


Full-Time: Hullbridge Sports 0 – 1 Witham Town

To summarise briefly, it was a case of spurned chances for Hullbridge in what was a really encouraging performance for the home side. Witham had to be resilent as they were up against it at times but defensively they were commendable as a unit. Ultimately that was enough to claim the points, though they had two goals chalked off for off-side as well. All that’s left to add is that this really was a good occasion, with a fine crowd of over 250 in attendance.


For this match’s ‘stand-outs’ I’ll start with the visitors. Winger Adam Cheniti made a telling contribution, not just with his goal but was a threat from the left flank and contributed to his side’s forward moves well, while experienced goalkeeper Rob Budd made several decent saves and provided a reassuring presence for his team’s defenders, who had to concentrate well during the game. Fellow winger Amaree Robinson-Jones showed good trickery and energy down theright side for the visitors, backed up well by energetic right-back Kahlil Kirwan-Meade who also put in a very good display here. For Hullbridge, midfielder Lewis Watson shone, making intelligent runs from midfield and getting himself in good positions to score & could easily have had two goals today. Full-back Callum Thompson also was assured on the ball and contributed to his team’s moves well. I also thought centre-back Jake Knight and goalkeeper Luca Collins had good games as well.

I’d like to wish both teams a good rest of the season.



Teams

Hullbridge Sports |  Manager: Darren Manning  | Assistant: James Wakeling

Starting XI: 1 Luca Collins (GK), 2 Rhamar Garrett-Douglas, 14 Jake Knight, 5 Dexter Peter (Capt), 12 Callum Thompson, 6 Greg Frederick, 4 Brad Russell (9 Charlie Cole 37′), 8 Lewis Watson, 17 Lewis Francis (7 Michael Mignot 65′), 10 Tony Martin, 11 Joao Carlos (15 Nathan Scarborough 65′)

Booked: Thompson, Martin | Subs Not Used: Rose, Moss


Witham Town  | Manager: Marc Benterman   | Assistant: John Sussex

Starting XI: 1 Rob Budd (GK), 2 Kahlil Kirwan-Meade, 3 Jack Nolde, 4 Billy Willis (Capt), 5 Kye Jude, 6 Callum Matthews, 7 Amaree Robinson-Jones, 8 Ahmed Mohammed, 9 Luke Hornsley (12 Chinedu Osadebe 58′), 10 Ben Search (16 Jamahi Godward 53′), 11 Adam Cheniti (14 Jordi Popple 82′)

Goal-scorer: Adam Cheniti [62′]

Booked: Robinson-Jones, Search  | Subs Not Used: Stanley, Taylor


Referee: Paul Stratton

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