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.


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

Preview: Essex Senior League (Sat 2 Mar) [ESL 1.3.19]

Written by Scott W & Peter D

Hello and welcome to this week’s Essex Senior League Preview piece as Peter Dudley and Scott W look at the ESL fixtures this weekend (Sat 2 March). Scott caught up in the Predictions stakes after a win last week – coming into the run-in, who will best who this weekend?

Also, catch Peter & Scott fronting the Grassroots Football radio show this week here:


Saturday 2nd March

Clapton v West Essex | Old Spotted Dog

Pete: It’s 14th vs 13th in Forest Gate as The Tons welcome West Essex to their Old Spotted Dog ground, and they won here the last time they played so will look to take that into this one, whilst the visitors lost a tight one against the league leaders at home last time out. Could be tight this one so going for a score draw.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Scott: The Tons welcome the Stags to the OSD. Jon Fowell’s side won at home to Barkingside last weekend though remain in the bottom half, while West Essex are among the pack attempting to get into the top ten and narrowly lost out to Stansted last weekend. This has the makings of another tight affair and I’ll plump for a draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Ilford v Barkingside | Cricklefield ‘derby’

Pete: It’s the Cricklefield derby as Ilford ‘host’ Barkingside in a game the visitors must win if they want to keep any realistic hopes of avoiding the drop. The Foxes did lose at home last time out too against an in-form St Margaretsbury side, but form does go out of the window in these games so even though both lost last time out that counts for nothing in this one. I do fancy Ilford to win this one though.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Scott: The Cricklefield ‘derby’ returns and what a time for it as well. Both sides lost out last weekend, Ilf at home to St Margaretsbury and ‘Side at Clapton though bottom team Barkingside arguably need the points more here. The Foxes have been scoring though in recent matches so this could be a factor, even though the ‘form book’ scarcely applies to local derbies. Will go for a narrow away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Redbridge v Sawbridgeworth Town | Oakside

Pete: It’s been a weird few days for the Motormen, defeating Southend Manor 4-1 last weekend before succumbing 6-0 to a rampant Woodford Town side in midweek, so quite what Redbridge will show up remains to be seen. They take on a Robins side who have been off-the-pace for a few weeks now, so confidence won’t be high in their camp, and I feel the hosts may edge this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 2

Scott: Sawbridgeworth travel to Oakside. The Motormen had a mixed week to say the least with a big win over Southend Manor last weekend before a heavy defeat away to Woodford in midweek. They have goals in their side now though as they face one of the poorest defences in out-of-form Sawbo, who haven’t won in four matches. They gave Walthamstow a battle at home last weekend though they need goals at present. Home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Southend Manor v Leyton Athletic | Southchurch Park

Pete: This is a rather important fixture at the bottom end of the table as third-bottom Manor host second-bottom Athletic with the hosts currently holding an eight-point lead over their opponents, so which way this result goes will certainly change that dramatically one way or the other. Manor have had two draws either side of a disappointing loss at Redbridge lately, whilst Leyton did manage a clean sheet in their last game to gain a point too. I feel though that the hosts may grab a very important win here though.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Scott: This is arguably the most important match of the weekend as Manor entertain Leyton. Manor had a disappointing defeat at Redbridge last weekend though did have a promising rearguard action in a scoreless draw with Tower Hamlets on Wednesday. Adam Peek’s side is another team who need goal-power at the moment, as do Leyton, who got a goal-less draw against Enfield last weekend. This could well be a scrap though the hosts may just prevail.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Sporting Bengal Utd v Hullbridge Sports | Mile End

Pete: Sporting have dropped to eighth in recent times after a dip in form this calendar year, and Wednesday’s 4-1 loss at home to St Margaretsbury was a poor night all round, so they won’t be chuffed at seeing second-placed Hullbridge roll into town after they recorded a very important win over Takeley last time out. Expecting the Bridge Boys to get the job done here.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 2

Scott: Bengal seek to recover from a poor midweek loss to St Margaretsbury in midweek as they face high-flyers Hullbridge at Mile End. Imrul Gazi’s side did hold Stanway last weekend though face a strong ‘Bridge back-line. Hullbridge won over Takeley last weekend before a comfortable Tolleshunt D’Arcy Cup win over Kelvedon Social in midweek. The hosts will have to start well to stay in this one I feel though ‘Bridge as well need to ‘stay on the gas’ or they could slip up. Despite that, it’s hard not to head for an away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Stanway Rovers v St Margaretsbury | Hawthorns

Pete: This is a repeat of the Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy Semi-Final tie in which the visitors breezed 4-0, but you rarely see the same result twice. However, the visitors have had a brilliant February and will be high on confidence against a Stanway Rovers side who have recently broke into the top ten so have certainly been solid that’s for sure. I still feel the visitors will win this one but maybe not as easily as the semi-final success.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Scott: This fascinating clash sees Rovers face in-form St Margs. Max Mitchell’s side won here well in Cup action recently so Terry Spillane’s team will want some measure of revenge to level that out. Rovers were held by Bengal last weekend while St Margs have won at Ilford and Bengal in the last week. Stanway need to cut off the visitors’ supply of goals I feel to get anything out of this one though I also suspect the recent four-match unbeaten run will continue for the ‘Bury. Away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Takeley v Saffron Walden Town | Station Road

Pete: Big clash at Station Road as 4th takes on 3rd, and you have to say that Takeley are the ones who need the victory the most although the top five are only separated by ten points, so anything can happen down the stretch as they say. Walden could go second if they win and Hullbridge slip up, but even if that does not happen a win for the visitors would still open a five-point gap to their opponents, so this is why it’s important the hosts do not lose this one. Thinking it may end all-square though.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Scott: Another cracker-jack encounter takes place at Station Road. The hosts started well before losing out at Hullbridge last weekend and defeat here may be a big dent in their top-four aspirations. Walden ground out a narrow win at Tower Hamlets last weekend as they look to keep tabs on Stansted & Hullbridge above them in the table. The highest-scoring side in Step 5 in the country in Walden as ever will take some stopping and as such, it’s an away win for me. Could be a real battle though given Takeley’s defensive qualities.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Walthamstow v Tower Hamlets | Wadham Lodge Stadium

Pete: Stow need a win to keep their promotion hopes going, a win for them and slip ups above could see them into fourth and only a point off third place Walden, but they will come up against a hard-working Hamlets side who have picked up some useful results lately as they pull away from that bottom two, now thirteen points clear of it, so they can probably relax with a result here. I feel that the hosts will have too much for them ultimately though.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Scott: ‘Stow face Hamlets in what could be a passionate encounter at Wadham Lodge. Hamlets have only conceded one goal in matches this week, against Saffron Walden and Southend Manor respectively so this will give the much-heralded Walthamstow front-line a challenge. ‘Stow did win fairly well at Sawbridgeworth last weekend and if they avoid under-estimating the visitors then they should pick up the points here. Home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Woodford Town v Enfield | Harlow Arena ‘derby’

Pete: It’s the Harlow Arena derby as Woodford take on Enfield, and the hosts come into this one after a 6-0 demolition of Redbridge, but the visitors are unbeaten in five and have kept three clean sheets to boot, so they will not be an easy side to break down. The visitors could also break into the top ten with victory too, so this would be a good achievement for them, whilst Woodford would remain in the top six with the points. Think this one could end a draw though.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Scott: Finally this weekend, it is the Harlow ‘derby’ between co-tenants Woodford and Enfield. Woodford recovered from last weekend’s narrow loss to Hoddesdon with a six-goal hammering of Redbridge on the 3G in midweek. Dee Safer’s team are looking to stay in the top six and face the E’s who are unbeaten in their last five now. My gut feeling says there will be goals in this one and that it will also be a hard-fought encounter. Narrow home win in my view.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 2

That’s all for this week, thanks for reading.

Essex Senior League Preview (ESL 23.2.18)

Written by Peter D & Scott W

Hello & welcome to this week’s piece looking at the weekend’s Essex Senior League following a midweek where Wakering went joint-top with Redbridge. Peter also returns so below are his and Scott’s thoughts on all the fixtures set for this weekend (Weather-permitting):

Friday 23rd February

Woodford Town P – P  Takeley    | Venue: Goffs Lane

This match has been postponed due to floodlight failure, Town announced on Friday lunch-time.

Saturday 24th February

Barkingside v Basildon Utd   | Venue: Cricklefield

Peter: The hosts welcome the Bees to Cricklefield having stretched their unbeaten run to four games after a draw in midweek, although they were two goals up in that one so felt disappointed to only get a point.  The Bees, who have lost only once in their last ten, will be looking to grab the three points to keep the pressure on the top two and put in a good performance at FC Romania in the week, however I expect this one to finish all square.

Pete’s Prediction: 1-1

Scott: The Saturday action kicks off with ‘Side host Basildon at Cricklefield. Michael Walther’s side have drawn their last three matches, including a home draw against Southend Manor last weekend followed by holding Waltham Forest in midweek. Basildon battled to a goalless stalemate at FC Romania in midweek, and have only lost one of their last ten matches now, sitting in 4th place. This could be another battle and the Bees need the points to keep tabs on the top-three.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3


Clapton v Sporting Bengal Utd | Venue: Old Spotted Dog

Peter: The Tons saw their four-game winning run ended by Takeley last weekend, but they welcome a struggling Sporting Bengal side to The Old Spotted Dog who have lost all but one of their last eight games, although that one was a thumping home win over Waltham Forest, however Clapton are playing some decent stuff at the moment so will take the win here I feel.

Pete’s Prediction: 3-1

Scott: The Tons welcome Sporting Bengal to the OSD. Jon Fowell & Wayne Seal’s side narrowly lost out to Takeley last weekend in what was their first loss in five matches. Sporting have had two weeks off and are in 15th place, two points above the bottom four. One win in their last five outings means they need points to avert falling into the bottom four. Home win for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 0


FC Romania v West Essex  | Venue: Theobalds Lane

Peter: The Romanian’s long unbeaten record is still ongoing after they drew at home to Basildon United in midweek, although they had ‘keeper Darabant to thank for that, and they welcome a free-flowing attacking West Essex to Theobalds Lane who ended their four-game winless streak with victory at the start of the month, however they have been out of action for three weeks now so there may be some rustiness, and I feel the hosts may take advantage of this to pick up the points.

Pete’s Prediction: 4-2

Scott: The tricky matches keep coming for the Wolves as West Essex are the visitors to Theobalds Lane here. The hosts were held by Basildon in midweek, while West Essex’s tie at home to Redbridge was postponed. FCR have drawn three of their last five matches and West Essex can definitely pose a threat those postponements have hampered the Stags recently. Still reckon the hosts should prevail here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1


Hullbridge Sports v Wadham Lodge   | Venue: Lower Road

Peter: This is what you call a ‘six-pointer’ down at the foot of the table.  Sports are unbeaten in four outings and grabbed an important win last time out against Tower Hamlets, whilst Lodge ended a six-game winless run with victory over their Walthamstow rivals Forest last time out.  Both need the points to take them closer to getting out the bottom four, however I feel this may end all-square.

Pete’s Prediction: 2-2

Scott: Hullbridge welcome Wadham in what is a massive ‘six-pointer’ at the bottom. The hosts had midweek off due to the inclement weather and may need to improve on last weekend’s performance in their narrow win over Tower Hamlets. Wadham overcame Forest in the ‘Walthamstow Derby’ last weekend to avert a winless league run. This could well be a scrappy battle with goals in it.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 2


Sawbridgeworth Town  v  Great Wakering Rovers  | Venue:  Crofters End

Peter: This proves to be a pretty decent game at Crofters, as The Robins, who have certainly picked up in 2018, host league leaders GWR who themselves are unbeaten in eight games having won seven of those in the process.  And with the Robins having won at Burroughs Park earlier in the campaign, this shows they have what it takes to get the better of the visitors. However, I can see the league leaders grabbing the points.

Pete’s Prediction: 0-2

Scott: In-form Wakering head to Crofters to take on Sawbridgeworth. Iain O’Connell’s side went joint-top following their narrow win at Ilford in midweek. Sawbo were held by the Foxes last weekend before grabbing a late win at Burnham in midweek. John Watters’ side are looking at breaking into the top ten after a run of two defeats in their last seven and this will be another test of GWR’s mettle.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1


Southend Manor v Ilford  | Venue: Southchurch Park

Peter: This proves to be a battle on the Essex Coast as Manor host The Foxes with both sides in similar form of late.  Manor are unbeaten in their last two whilst Ilford are winless in four, although all those games were very tight indeed.  Expecting another tight one here and another draw I feel.

Pete’s Prediction: 1-1

Scott: Manor welcome Ilford to Southchurch after a harrowing midweek which saw their match at Hackney Wick abandoned just minutes in due to serious injury to a Manor forward. Our best wishes go to Ellis in his recovery. The hosts have been affected by injuries of late and arguably still need a few points to avoid getting dragged into the relegation slug-fest. The Foxes are also finding wins hard to sustain though they may get the job done here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2


Tower Hamlets v Stansted | Venue: Mile End Stadium

Peter: Hamlets form in 2018 has been mixed to say the least, and they are winless in five coming into this one.  Stansted have hit a small ‘sticky patch’ after beginning 2018 brilliantly, although they ended a two-game losing run with a point in midweek, although it was a late leveller that denied them all three.  Will be a tight one this I feel but one I believe the visitors may just edge.

Pete’s Prediction: 1-2

Scott: This fascinating encounter sees Hamlets entertain Stansted at Mile End. There were definitely positives to take for the hosts in their loss at Hullbridge last weekend and I feel the Airportmen will need to defend well here. The visitors fell to defeat at Enfield last Saturday before holding Woodford at Goffs Lane in midweek. Hamlets are winless in their last five matches with Stansted winless in their last three so this could be another battle. Hard one to call, going for a entertaining draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2


Waltham Forest v Enfield 1893  | Venue: Kitchener Road

Peter: Another huge six-pointer down at the foot of the table sees Forest host Enfield at Kitchener Road.  Forest are winless in their last four although fought back to draw in midweek after trailing by two at the break, whilst Enfield have won two in a row to see them spring out of the bottom four and go above their opponents on goal difference in this one.  The winner of this game could put five points between them and the bottom four, whilst the loser could find themselves back in it, so very important. Reckon this could end all square though.

Pete’s Prediction: 2-2

Scott: Lastly on Saturday, Enfield make the trip to Kitchener Road to take on Forest. The hosts’ four-match winless run has come at a bad time with Ryan Maxwell’s side hovering just above the bottom four. Enfield went above Forest last weekend thanks to a good home win over Stansted, their third win in their last five matches. With this being Forest’s third match in 8 days, will this affect their performance levels? Time will tell.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2


Check our respective blogs on Sunday for our round-up’s of ESL action. You can follow Peter on Twitter: @ped1980 and Scott: @ScottMHC14.