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Cookey helps Clapton edge five-goal thriller with Hullbridge

PUBLISHED: 10:01 15 February 2016 | UPDATED: 10:01 15 February 2016

Clapton's Tony Cookey heads over Hullbridge Sports goalkeeper for his second of the afternoon (pic: Hullbridge Sports).

Clapton's Tony Cookey heads over Hullbridge Sports goalkeeper for his second of the afternoon (pic: Hullbridge Sports).

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London Bari earn reward on the road at Southend Manor

Clapton and Hullbridge Sports players join together before kick-off alongside Clapton Ultras to promote Football v Homophobia, a nationwide initiative to kick homophobia out of the game (pic: Hullbridge Sports).Clapton and Hullbridge Sports players join together before kick-off alongside Clapton Ultras to promote Football v Homophobia, a nationwide initiative to kick homophobia out of the game (pic: Hullbridge Sports).

A debut double from Tony Cookey helped Clapton to a 3-2 win against Hullbridge Sports at the Old Spotted Dog in the Essex Senior League this weekend.

Once again the Ultrass were in fine voice and large numbers, as the attendance almost reached 400, and with many eyes upon them the two teams didn’t disappoint, producing an enthralling contest.

Hullbridge Sports pull a goal back through Jimmy Cox against Clapton (pic: Hullbridge Sports).Hullbridge Sports pull a goal back through Jimmy Cox against Clapton (pic: Hullbridge Sports).

Going into the game, Tons were looking for their fourth win out of the six league games they had played in 2016.

Hullbridge would be tough opponents for Michael Walter’s men. In the reverse of the fixture the two teams drew 4-4 in a cracking game - many hoped a similar match was in store.

Clapton's Tony Cookey runs off to celebrate after scoring against Hullbridge Sports (pic: Hullbridge Sports).Clapton's Tony Cookey runs off to celebrate after scoring against Hullbridge Sports (pic: Hullbridge Sports).

As the season goes past the halfway mark, the conditions begin to play a larger role and in the first twenty minutes it seemed that the players were battling the pitch rather than each other.

Intricate passing play didn’t appear to be on the menu and a piece of individual brilliance looked the most likely way to a goal.

Thankfully for Clapton, they had recently acquired the services of Cookey from London Bari and his improvised finish on the 26th minute broke the deadlock.

After a corner wasn’t cleared, the ball fell to the attacker with his back to goal and he audaciously back heeled the ball bamboozling the defence and gave his new team the lead.

Just five minutes later the Tons forward turned into a monster for Hullbridge. A teasing long ball forward from captain Geoff Ocran caused a race between Cookey and the goalkeeper, which the striker won and he headed home.

As the first half came to a close Hullbridge were given a reason to believe going into the dressing room as Jimmy Cox was left unmarked at a corner and headed home to give the hosts just the one goal advantage.

The second half Clapton dominated for the most part and they almost extending their lead early on. Roddy Lemba’s header forced an acrobatic save, and Paul Oshin went close from a corner.

But it would be the away team that had the best chance in the first ten minutes of the half when goalkeeper Pape Diagne spilled a regulation catch into the path of Hullbridge striker Luke Hornsley, who scuffed the chance to level the scores.

Tons went to five at the back and looked to be shutting up shop, but with around 80 minutes gone their left wing-back Abraham Jairette hobbled off and having made all of their substitutions, they were down to 10 men.

Hullbridge seemed to have the momentum, but the hard working Nathan Cook had other ideas as he produced a beautifully weighted pass into the path of midfielder Oshin and he rode one tackle and curled the ball into the corner on the 84th minute.

The goal was a massive one and the Ultras celebrations did not let it down as they broke down the fence blocking them from the pitch in jubilant scenes.

Just before the final whistle Hullbridge scored from another set piece, this time Kieran Offord rose highest and headed home causing a few nervy minutes, but eventually the final whistle came handing Clapton a deserved victory.

***

London Bari earned a fine 3-1 win at Southend Manor to continue their decent form under manager Chris Davis.

The Old Spotted Dog outfit took the lead inside a minute when Joel Appiah found the net.

But they were pegged back just before the half an hour mark when the hosts equalised.

Babajide Sonupe put them in front again with 10 minutes of the first half remaining and it stayed that way until the break.

And they sealed the points when Toheeb Oloyede made it 3-1 in the 57th minute to give Bari an away success.


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