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Sports Report - Tilbury 2 Hullbridge Sports 0

Sports Report - Tilbury 2 Hullbridge Sports 0

Dave Colmer25 Mar - 19:32
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Essex Senior League - Premier - Saturday 23rd March 2024 - Match Report

This was always likely to be a difficult day for The Bridge as Tilbury needed to get their season back on track after three recent defeats but with Hullbridge desperate for points towards their play-off challenge we hoped for something from this game and a draw would have been a good result. In the end, though, the expected scoreline saw Tilbury march on towards the title and The Bridge play-off hopes fading fast as a goal from new-signing Alex Akrofi and an injury time second by Troy Osei-Bobi saw The Dockers collect the expected three points.

Tilbury’s recent blip in form was always likely to be just a blip and they found their shooting boots here, after three blanks, at the Bridge’s expense as they continued their quest for the league title. To arrest that recent slide in form The Dockers had three new signings, with Alex Akrofi and Shae Hutchinson introduced into the starting line-up and Troy Osei-Bobi on the bench. All three would have an impact on the game. For The Bridge, it was a decent starting line-up and Michael Dixon was back in up front after missing recent games.

The first action of any note was early on as The Dockers went close with an Oli Spooner free-kick that was not far over the bar and then The Bridge hit back with a half-scuffed shot from Jon Evans that keeper Christian North did well to save as it emerged through the crowd of players in the box. Soon, we were back up the other end as a ball into the Hullbridge box saw Alex Akrofi beat Bradley Davison to the ball, although there was a possible foul in there, and the ball rolled slowly towards the goal before Mike Agboola just got to it and cleared it from the goal line to keep it at 0-0.

A superb ball from Tobi Coker then put Sheri Artmaladze through and he got to the ball before keeper North and lobbed the keeper but the ball went agonisingly just wide. Just after the half-hour mark Sam Owusu and Jon Evans combined before Jon put Sheri through again and he rounded North but the keeper stuck out his right arm and diverted the ball away and then grabbed it to stop the deadlock being broken. On the stroke of half-time Tilbury nearly took the lead but Bradley Davison saved a Roman Campbell header from a Tilbury corner and then parried away the rebound from the same player as the 45 ended goalless.

The Bridge had held their own for the first half of the game but could they keep it going for the remaining 45 minutes?

Well, we were soon to find out the answer to that question as it took just 4 second-half minutes for the Dockers to register their first goal. With The Bridge defence looking for offside, a delicate flick from Harry Donavon sent debutant Akrofi through and he finished well to make it 1-0. It was tight but Akrofi may just have been onside. The Bridge defence still wanted offside but it never came and the league-leaders were one up.

Soon after, Shea Hutchinson went on a decent run that was finally stopped by a Davison/Agboola combination, and then a deep cross was headed over by Sam Carter as Tilbury continued to press for the second goal.

As the weather did what the weather tends to do a lot of nowadays, it absolutely poured!… Hullbridge tried to get back into the game but their cause was not helped when Shae Hutchinson nicked the ball off Chris Gregan and broke through before being tripped by Michael Agboola. It didn’t look too bad, and Chris Gregan was there next to Mike, but the referee deemed ‘Big Mike’ to be the last man and produced the red card. From the free-kick Hutchinson headed over Davison and into the net but he was clearly offside and this time the flag did go up and the ‘goal’ was disallowed.

As the game reached its later stages, both sides freshened up their line-ups with additions from the bench. One of those substitutions, in the 86th minute, was Troy Osei-Bobi, and just 10 minutes later when The Bridge failed to clear their lines Oli Spooner cut the ball back to him in the box and he turned and superbly slotted the ball into the Hullbridge net and it was 2-0, and game over.

A good win to get Tilbury back on track and a decent effort from The Bridge, although no points now leaves them tenuously hanging onto play-off hopes that are quickly disappearing. With just 5 games to go and The Bridge now 8 points adrift of the final 5th spot, the play-offs look unlikely but it’s not over just yet so hope remains, keep the faith and…

Went close to scoring early on, and then provided a lovely through ball to Sheri that could have put The Bridge in front, and then who knows how the game could have gone. Another good day at the office for Jon and mentions in dispatches for Alfie Whiteaker and Chris Gregan but don’t mention the referee, who didn’t help The Bridge cause at all…played Jon!

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