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APSA extended unbeaten league run with 1-0 victory over Hullbridge Sports

PUBLISHED: 15:32 29 September 2010

London APSA Alex Smith

London APSA Alex Smith

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Essex Senior League

Hullbridge Sports 0

London APSA 1

London APSA maintained their unbeaten start to the league season on Saturday, courtesy of Alex Smith’s strike.

However, boss John Higley was less than happy with their performance, despite taking the three points before Saturday’s crucial FA Vase tie against Stanway Rovers.

Higley had keeper Steve Brown to thank as he saved a last-minute penalty to give the Newham outfit their fourth league win in five.

“We were woeful, we can play much better than what we did, but I was pleased to come away with the three points,” said the APSA boss.

“We played them again on Tuesday in the League Cup and it gave me the opportunity to rest a few players and give some of the fringe players a go.”

In a game where the visiting boss claimed his side played below their usual level, a 1-0 victory was a most welcome result at Hullbridge.

APSA’s Tim Cole kept the defence well organised and made it very difficult for Hullbridge to breach the back four, but a lot of sloppy passes and some mis-timed runs made it a difficult for the defence against the home side’s attack.

Jamie Langton came close to scoring in the 11th minute, but was thwarted by a fine save from Sports keeper Bobby Mason, as was Danny Callaway’s stinging cross-cum-shot in the 19th minute.

However, just before the break the visitors broke the deadlock, with Smith scoring what proved to be the winner with a fine header into the far corner on 42 minutes.

The second half was again poor from the Newham side though, and they never got into their rhythm. The sloppy tackles continued and one in injury time, by the veteran Cole, gave Hullbridge a golden opportunity to level the scores and steal a point.

However, the hosts did not take into account APSA’s keeper Brown who dived to his right and guessed the right way, pulling of a magnificent match-winning save.

The Newham-based side will be happy to see the back of Hullbridge, having faced Sports three times in the last 12 days, with the latest a League Cup tie on Tuesday night.

APSA currently sit in fourth spot of the Essex Senior League going into the weekend’s FA Vase game against Ridgeons Premier side Stanway Rovers, who defeated Hanworth Villa in the last round. On that occasion, manager Steve Downey was forced to give his team talk on the bus when heavy traffic on their way to the Middlesex outfit’s Rectory Manor ground.

Higley’s defence has been key to their good start with only two goals conceded in their five games, making them the leanest defence in the league and giving them a solid base to build on.

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