Hullbridge Sports 1 Enfield 1893 1
Saturday 27th January
With an early pitch inspection required at Lower Road, Hullbridge were pleased to get a game on after recent cancellations, but the pitch was very heavy and must have only just scraped through the test.
As the sides kicked off Enfield seemed to cope with the conditions better and on 4 minutes Harry Prince had a good effort on the Sports goal, but it went wide.
Four minutes later Enfield had a corner and the poor Hullbridge defending left Lee Pleasance with a free header which he really should have done better from, but his effort went wide of the post.
On 17 minutes the Enfield pressure paid off as Ben Bradbury the Enfield captain found himself in the Hullbridge box, the ball was struck at him, hit the back of his legs, but fell kindly to him and he slotted it away well giving Jamie Merralls no chance in the Hullbridge goal.
On 27 minutes it was still Enfield who were putting the pressure on and they really should have gone 2-0 up, but the shot clipped the crossbar and it was a let off for Sports. Hullbridge were struggling to create any chances and hadn’t had a single shot on the Enfield goal.
It took 36 minutes for Hullbridge to have their first shot on goal when debutant AdebolaSotoyinbo got himself in to a good position, but he scuffed his shot wide.
So a poor first half for Sports who weren’t coping with conditions that were getting worse with the heavy rain and it was disappointing to only have one shot on goal, especially as the Enfield keeper was actually a stand-in and was a very good young forward they have in Jayden Hocking-Rising.
Hullbridge came out in the second half and looked the liveliest of the two side and 8 minutes in to the new half Sports equalised. AdebolaSotoyinbo did well getting down the left and his perfect cross hard and low across the Enfield box was met at the back post by Michael Salako who just had to tap it home to level things up for Hullbridge.
AdebolaSotoyinbo had one more effort for Sports, but his shot was blocked and he eventually left the field after picking up a knock in the 75th minute and was replaced by Luca Frankis.
Matt Tapley had a shot from distance on 76 minutes as Sports seemed to come alive and they were now pressing for the winner. The tempo seemed to be cranked up a notch, but any mistake by either side now could gift the points to the other, so Sports still had to be on their guard.
Rob Hodgson had to block a good strike by Ben Bradbury for Enfield who had looked dangerous all afternoon and then minutes later Hodgson could only watch as Enfield hit the post.
Jamie Merralls was called in to action on 80 minutes as Aundre Spencer for Enfield had a good effort saved.
Sports had the final effort of the game when Matt Tapley saw his free kick on 90+2 go over the bar and the game finished a draw.
The point moved Hullbridge up a place to 18th in the league, but still leaving them in the dangerous bottom four with Enfield sitting 20th. Sports will still feel everything is still in their own hands with all the teams around them still having to face Hullbridge, but they have got to start picking up some serious points.
Report/Photo by Neil Hunwicks @ABridgeTooFar16