Southend Manor 1-0 Hullbridge Sports
The FA Cup with Budweiser
Extra Preliminary Round
3pm, Saturday 11 August 2012
The Arena, Southchurch Park
Winning clubs receive £1000 from The FA's prize fund
By Robert Craven
Southend Manor will be dreaming of a repeat of their momentous 2011-12 FA Cup run after edging out Essex Senior League rivals Hullbridge Sports in the Extra Preminary Round.
Their ground is situated in Southchurch Park, an historic sporting venue. In 1948, Don Bradman's 'Invincibles', the touring Australian cricketing side, scored 721 runs in one day there. Last year, and just the length of a large six away in The Arena, Manor wrote their own history by reaching the Fourth Qualifying Round of The FA Cup.
That was the first time Manor had progressed so far in the competition, and the first time a Senior League club had done so for 18 years. But that run is now history, too. Ten of the 17-man squad from last year's 3-1 defeat to Kettering Town remain, including Nene Park goalscorer Max Kent and sharpshooting hero Gary Paterson, but it was a player who wasn't involved, Chris Baddeley, that scored the decisive goal this time.
Baddeley seized his side's solitary first-half opportunity in the 21st minute, steering a loose ball inside the left-hand post from 14 yards out.
Hullbridge had much the better of the chances before the break, with Michael Edgar's diving header and Lewis Newham's searing shot requiring fingertip saves from Jack Buckfield. The 'keeper was also beaten twice, but Jimmy Cox's lob bounced back off the bar in the 39th minute before Kent cleared off the line from the same player three minutes later.
Hullbridge, inspired particularly by midfield playmaker Edgar, continued to probe after the interval, but Sam Taylor's free-kick was curled wide and Edgar twice failed to convert during the final ten minutes.
At the other end, George Shelvey saw a strong shot pushed out by Lawrence Priddle but, by then, his side had done enough to make their first step in the 2012-13 competition. And who knows, this being The FA Cup, maybe a first step towards making a little more history.
Southend Manor: Jack Buckfield, Connor Lane, Mark Baptist, Jonathan Wheatstone, Terry Griffiths, Jamie Salmon, Seb Brimsted (Aaron Baldwin 76), Chris Baddeley, George Shelvey (Frankie Wheeler 88), Tom Hollingsworth, Max Kent (Chris Brown 59).
Substitutes not used: David Tubbs, Bradley Vaughan, Wilf Msiska, Gary Paterson.
Hullbridge Sports: Lawrence Priddle, Ben Stokes, Sam Taylor (Antony Wilson 83), Churchill Addingi, William Peck, Ben Perry, Lewis Newham (Alex Collisson 63), Michael Edgar, Jimmy Cox, Tom Peck, Tom Ranger (Elliott Wells 71).
Substitutes not used: Martin Whitcomb, Ben Willmore.
Referee: Mr S Cheek.
Assistant Referees: Mr D Raby & Mr C Everitt.