Hullbridge Sports 0 Coggeshall Town 2 (BBC Essex Senior Cup 2nd Round)
Report by Neil Hunwicks @ABridgeTooFar16
On a cold misty night under the lights at Lower Road, Coggeshall Town FC complete with celebrity in tow, turned up to play in the BBC Essex Senior Cup.
Sports with a full strength side started off well with young Charlie Gerada crossing well for Rob Hodgson early on and then having an effort of his own go close on 7 minutes.
Coggeshall had a good effort from a free kick on 13 minutes, but Bobby Mason in the Hullbridge goal had the danger covered and from the breakaway Sports really should have gone one up as Jamie Buffin hit the crossbar.
Coggeshall Town’s Jamie Shaw looked very dangerous and had two efforts in quick succession with the first flashing passed the Hullbridge goal and the second a header which he could only watch fly over the bar.
Both sides were not giving an inch and although there were a few big challenges around, the tie was being played in the right spirit and both sides were playing good football.
The tie was being played at pace and Coggeshall were particularly fast at breaking, but Hullbridge soaked up the pressure when required and arguably just edged the first half.
The first half was a very entertaining 45 minutes and both sides should be credited for the style of football that was being played. Sport had hit the woodwork twice and should have been ahead, but the visitors always looked dangerous.
Sports were forced to make a change early on in the second period when Charlie Gerada was carried off and Michael Edgar replaced him. Hullbridge were now defending deeper and their passing game had moved more towards the long ball as Coggeshall stepped up the pressure on Bobby Mason in the Hullbridge goal.
Howard Wright who had come in for Jimmy Cox in the starting line-up had a rare effort on 78 minutes, but the deadlock was broken two minutes later when Conor Hubble headed in from a Coggeshall corner to put the visitors 1-0 up and in the driving seat.
Despite putting fresh legs on late in the day as Jimmy Cox came on to support the strike force, Sports were opened up three minutes later when Dan McCullock scored to settle the tie.
Hullbridge were unable to offer any residence and keeping the ball in the second half seemed to be an issue. You can’t play against the quality of Coggeshall Town when you just keep allowing them to come on to you and Sports were punished accordingly.
It was a good match to watch for the independent, but on the second half performance you would have to say that Coggeshall were worthy winners and could progress well in the competition with their young very quick side. Hullbridge will need to get out of their current rut, but they should take heart from their first half performance.
BBC Essex Senior Cup 2nd Round Round-Up
Basildon United 2 Stanway Rovers 0
Basildon United progressed to the 3rd Round on Tuesday evening after beating Thurlow Nunn Premier Division outfit Stanway Rovers at The Longmans Motors Stadium. Jamie Selby-Knight got things rolling with a goal in the 38th minute. However the Bees had to wait until the 78th minute before they could be sure of putting the game to bed, with Kristopher Newby supplying the goal that effectively won it for the hosts.
FC Clacton 0 Southend Manor 1
The battle of Essex Seaside towns saw Southend Manor eke out a slender 1-0 win. The hosts were hoping to give their gaffer a birthday present a win and they had two good chances towards the end of the half before Rhys Fatt cut inside the box and placed a shot underneath Luke Avenell. Manor nearly added a second early in the second period and tested the Clacton keeper on a couple of occasions before Liam Pitts pulled off some saves to keep Clacton at bay. The hosts had a goal ruled out near the end of the game as Southend Manor held on to win the game.
Stansted 3 Halstead Town 2
Stansted won a five-goal affair at Hargrave Park, opening the scoring in the 11th minute via Ryan Ramsey. The lead was then doubled in the 49th minute as Ramsey notched his second. The visitors however pulled one back just before the hour through Cameron Storie and then were on level terms in the 73rd minute courtesy of Harry Slater. The Airportmen then re-took the lead with a Julian Lloyd effort in the 83rd minute to book their Third Round place.