Hullbridge Sports 2 Great Wakering Rovers 3

Updated: November 8, 2017

Despite a late fight back from Hullbridge Sports it was Great Wakering Rovers who took the points at Lower Road in the Essex Senior League derby.

The hosts were enduring one of their worst seasons for recent seasons, sitting third bottom, and were coming up against a team in Rovers who were in the mix at the top.

And the visitors were soon into their stride and created a great opportunity in the fourth minute as a loose ball dropped to Nash but he could only lift his effort over the bar.

And three minutes later they went close again when a Richmond free kick zipped off the wet surface and saw keeler Catling parry the ball out but Nash couldn’t convert the follow up as Sports survived again.

However on ten minutes it was third time lucky as a ball forward saw Taylor and Richmond contest it and full back Taylor tried to head back to Catling but instead saw Richmond run onto it and slot beyond Catling to give Rovers the lead.

Rovers continued to dominate and four minutes later saw a long ball release Richmond in on hosts goal but Catling come out to make a good save and then midway through the half Rovers went close again when Johnson whips a free kick across goal and just wide of the far post.

The hosts saw their first effort on goal come in the 25th minute when Dulieu struck an effort from outside the box which keeper Hawkins made a bit of a meal of but did manage to safely gather eventually.

And then just a minute later Rovers doubled their advantage when a great cross from the right saw Johnson ghost in totally unmarked to power home a close range header and give Rovers a even tighter grip on proceedings.

And in the 34th minute things went from bad to worse for the hosts when they gave Rovers a third when a routine back pass from centre half Poole bobbled over keeper Catlings foot and rolled into the net, it was a huge body blow and the visitors were three goals to the good.

A minute before the break Rovers almost had a fourth when sloppy defending saw Rovers pinch the ball before rolling in Johnson but his effort was deflected onto the post by a sliding Hodgson.

However the visitors were cruising as they went into the break and most feared for the hosts if Rovers got a couple early on in the second period.

Half Time Hullbridge Sports 0 Great Wakering Rovers 3

Rovers almost grabbed that early second half goal nine minutes into the half but saw Catling make a terrific stop to deny Johnson, but after that the game became more of a battle as chances dried up.

But then in the 72nd minute the hosts from nowhere grabbed a lifeline to perhaps reward them for their second half improvement when Buffin blasted home a loose ball inside the area after the visitors had fail to clear their lines.

The visitors knew a fourth would seal the win and with ten to go they so nearly found it when Johnson burst through, but his shot across goal went just wide of the far post.

And four minutes later a Rovers break saw them burst through but player manager Hodgson got back brilliantly to produce and goal saving sliding tackle to thwart them, tippifying his commitment to the cause.

And with three minutes to go it was very much game on when the hosts found a second goal when a long range effort deflected off Buffin and past Hawkins and suddenly the hosts had a sniff at an unlikely draw.

However the visitors kept their nerve and kept the hosts at bay and in the 96th minute almost added a fourth when substitute Bryan burst through but saw Catling make a good diving save, and the referee blew almost immediately afterwards and the visitors had taken another three points and moved into fourth spot in the ESL.

For Hullbridge it’s another defeat and they remain third bottom, however if they can cut out the errors and battle more like they did in the second period then they will no doubt pull themselves away from the dangerzone before too long.

Full Time Hullbridge Sports 2 Great Wakering Rovers 3

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