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Premier Division

Hullbridge Sports 3 Sawbridgeworth Town 1

Saturday 23rd December

Three goals in eight second half minutes helped see Hullbridge Sports to victory over Sawbridgeworth Town at Lower Road in their bottom of the table clash in the Essex Senior League.

Sports sat bottom but knew a win could take them off the foot and only two points behind sixteenth placed Sawbridgeworth, who needed a win themselves to place breathing space between themselves and the bottom four.

And seconds from kick off the visitors almost went in front as Keke Orth shrugged off a defender, lofted an effort over hosts keeper Russell Harley, but saw his effort go over the hosts bar. The Robin’s were claiming he had been fouled, but this fell on deaf ears.

And on six minutes the visitors should have gone in front but saw Harley produce a wonder save to keep Toby Cleaver out, tipping his effort onto the bar brilliantly, whilst Bridge were reduced to a couple of wayward long range efforts in the opening quarter hour, as the Robins had definitely started the better.

The hosts did threaten in the 19th minute Good when Michael Salako’s ball across goal just invaded Damian Siemienczuk coming in, but in the 33rd minute Harley had to be alert again in the Bridge goal, turning a Toby Cleaver effort behind, although it was becoming a battle out there now.

The final chance of the half did fall to the hosts though as a Siemienczuk effort was parried by keeper Matt Ponter, before he gathered the loose ball, and it meant the game remained goalless at the break.

Eight minutes into the second period Sawbo should have led, as a cross saw a defender miss the ball, leaving Orth with a sight of goal, but he could only drill his effort across goal and wide.  It had been another guilt edged chance missed by the visitors.

And just a minute later the hosts punished them and showed them how it was done when Jimmy Cox tried his luck from distance after noticing Sawbo keeper Ponter was off his line, and he caught him out although Ponter probably should have done better after getting a hand to the effort, but the hosts had broken the deadlock.

Soon after Sawbo sent a decent header over the bar as they continued to pass up opportunities, and in the 58th minute were shown how it should be done when Bridge doubled their lead as a terrific move ended with midfielder Joe Pattinson poking home from the edge of the area..

And incredibly in the 62nd minute it was three goals in eight minutes for the hosts as poor defending allowed a ball to find its way to the back post where Rob Hodgson was waiting to tap home and somehow the hosts led 3-0.

The Robins found a way back into the contest just two minutes later though when they won a rather soft penalty for an apparent foul, and Billy Skinner duly converted the spot kick and the visitors had around twenty five minutes to salvage something.

Sawbo did strike the woodwork twice late on, firstly in the 89th minute when the visitors broke down the right through Skinner, but his effort thumped against the post, and then in stoppage time Danny Wickenden saw his deflected effort flick off the hosts bar, before moments later Harley had to beat away another effort.

However it was Hullbridge’s day and they moved off the bottom and now sit just two points behind their opponents in sixteenth place and in good spirits heading into the Christmas/New Year break.

Report/Photo by Peter Dudley @ped1980