Tuesday 30th January
Hullbridge Sports 3 Woodford Town (2017) 3
Hullbridge Sports battled back from two goals down to eventually salvage a point at home to Woodford Town at Lower Road. It started disastrously for the home side when Woodford took a fifth minute lead when De’Juane Taylor-Crossdale ran through to score, and just two minutes later they doubled their lead when a cross went in off Rob Hodgson for an own goal. The hosts grabbed one back nine minutes before the break when good pace from Luca Frankis on the left eventually saw him shoot across goal and in off the inside of the post, however nine minutes into the second period
Ethan Kessel restored Woodford’s two goal cushion. But just before the hour mark Adebola Sotoyinbo side footed the hosts back into the contest once again, before they levelled in the 65th minute when a superb corner from Harry Watkins saw Rob Hodgson send a powerful header into the net. It had been a great comeback by Bridge who thereafter looked like getting a dramatic winner. However a late red card for Hodgson spurred the visitors on, and only some last gasp heroics from Jamie Merrells in the Hullbridge goal kept Woodford at bay. However it finished all square which was a fair result in the end.
Wednesday 31st January
Hackney Wick 0 Enfield 1893 1
Enfield grabbed a vital win in the battle of the bottom two at The Old Spotted Dog against Hackney Wick. Wick knew a win was probably essential if they wanted to enhance their chances of survival but fell to a narrow defeat in what could be a killer blow to staying at this level for next season. The hosts fell to a late goal too to rub further salt in the wounds. Daniel Chambers broke the deadlock in the 84th minute and Enfield held on for the remainder of the game to take the victory. The visitors jump two places to 18th and are only a point from safety, whilst Wick are still nine points from safety with just twelve games to go.
Waltham Forest 3 Sawbridgeworth Town 3
A late penalty denied Forest an important three points and gave Sawbo a share of the spoils in an entertaining encounter at Kitchener Road. The Robins grabbed an early lead when Toby Cleaver ran through unchallenged from midfield to slot home, but Forest levelled after Chid Onokwai was clipped inside the box and he then converted the spot kick despite the keeper getting a strong hand to a poor penalty. And Forest then went in front when a Kipeya cross saw Onokwai rise highest to control and then rifle the ball home, but back came the visitors who levelled when Tom Jelliman was given the freedom of Kitchener Road to flick in a free kick at the near post, meaning the sides went into the break level. Forest then retook the lead when a through ball from Stokes put Asher Modeste though, and the striker rounded the keeper and curled it between two players into the net. Forest’s Onokwai was then given a straight red after being substituted for apparent dissent, and it got worse for the hosts when a clumsy, needless challenge gave Sawbo a chance to snatch a late draw, and Toby Cleaver dully home the spot kick to take a point. Forest are just one place and a point above the bottom four whilst The Robins are now up to 11th.
Report by Peter Dudley @ped1980