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

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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