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Hullbridge Sports

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Hullbridge Sports Football Club are an English football club based in Hullbridge, Essex. The club are currently members of theEssex Senior League and play at Lower Road.

==History Hullbridge Sports Football Club are an English football club based in Hullbridge, Essex. The club are currently members of the Essex Senior League and play at Lower Road. records show that Hullbridge United Football Club was formed by a group of local men,fronted by the then proprietor of the Anchor Inn,a Mr.A.W.Moss.He owed a room behind the pub known as Buff's Hall.This was where the club held its first meeting.A Mr Brown generously allowed the club to play on his land,on the corner of Pooles Lane and Long Lane. Hullbridge United's first colours were green and gold quartered shirts,white shorts and green socks,which by an amazing coincidence,were the same colours as those on the flag flying outside the Anchor Inn!Affiliating to the Essex County FA in 1947,Hullbridge United entered the Southend & District League for the upcoming 1947-48 season.1950-51 saw Hullbridge United reach their first Cup finals.In the section 'C'final of the Southend Charity Competition,United beat MaxwellSports 4-1.Four weeks later,in the Southend and District League's French Cup,Hullbridge faced Rochford Athletic but,somehow unluckily,lost the Final by three goals to four.After six seasons of Second Division football,1951-52 saw Hullbridge finally gain promotion - and they did it in style, winning both the championship and the French Cup. In the final, Hullbridge defeated the reserves of Great Wakering Rovers by three goals to nil. In all, the club played 28 matches that season, scoring an amazing 141 goals. The summer of 1953 saw the club change name to Hullbridge Sports. After a few poor seasons, times improved for the club when they won the 1956-57 Third Division Championship and the League's Shaw Cup. They finished five points clear of Canvey Island Sports in the league and saw off Victory Athletic reserves 3-2 after extra time in the Cup Final. Suffering relegation at the end of the 1958-59 season, Sports' stay in the Third Division lasted but four seasons as, in 1962-63, 'Bridge won promotion as runner-up in the newly named Second Division with a dramatic final day victory to ensure promotion on goal average. Drawing 4-4 at home to Southwick Rover, 'Bridge scored three goals in the final fifteen minutes to gain a 7-4 victory and promotion. Another double was achieved during 1965-66 season when Hullbridge won the First Division Championship and Section 'C' of the Southend Charity Competition beating Southchurch Rovers 3-0 in a re-play after a 2-2 draw. A respectable fifth place finish was achieved in the Premier Division the following season, along with being French Cup finalists. 1968-69 saw Hullbridge finish bottom of the Premier Division but just three seasons later the club regained their Premier Division status, finishing runner-up to Canvey Island Amateur FC at the end of the 1971-72 season. Good cup runs that year saw the club reach the semi-final of the Ramuz Cup and the Fourth Round of the Essex Junior Cup. In the late 1970's the club decided it wanted it's own ground. Negotiations with Rochford Council proved successful and the club took control of 16 and a half acres of farmland in Lower Road (at the top of Coventry Hill), with the club moving in during 1980. Transformation of the site was slow, with the clubhouse not offically opened until 1983. The end of 1979-80, Sports put six goals past the Southend Estuary 'keeper to win Section 'B' of the Southend Charity Competition. A move up to the newly-formed Southend and District Alliance in 1982 found the club wanting. Finishes of sixth and eighth and First Round knock-outs in the League Cup wasn't exactly what the club had hoped for. The only bright spot was reaching the 1982-83 Southend Charity Shield Final, although they lost 0-4 Rayleigh Town. Nevertheless, again looking for a higher standard of football,Sports then joined the Esex Olympian League for the 1984-85 season. They immediately won promotion after finishing third in the Second Division. At the end of the weather-hit 1987-88 season,Hullbridge (now in the Second Division again)brought home the Essex Intermediate League Cup, beating first Division Benfleet in the Final, held at the old New writtle Street ground of Chelmsford City FC. After a 1-1 extra time draw, courtesy of a Mark Wood goal, Sports went into the re-play 12 days later having played five league matches in between! However after a goal-less 120 minutes, Sports won 5-4 on penalties. Looking for a further climb up the non-league ladder, Hullbridge made improvements to the ground during 1989 so that it passed the grade for senior football. 1990 saw the Essex County FA grant the club senior status and so the club joined the Essex Senior League for the 1990-91. Matt Petre had the honour of scoring the club's first goal in senior football when, on 25th August 1990, in the club's first match of the Essex Senior League season, he scored Sports' only goal in a 1-3 defeat by visitors Stansted, in front of a 163 crowd. At the end of their first season, the club finished in a respectable 12th place. Since gaining senior status in 1990, success has been hard to come by for the first eleven; in fact only seasons 1996-97 (7th place) and 1997-98 (6th) have seen the club finish in the top half of the table. The new floodlights were put to good use during the 1999-2000 season when, after seven cup ties, the youth team reached the Third Round (last 64) of the FA Youth Cup. Visitors Blackburn Rovers won the tie 6-0 in front of a crowd of 800+. Since taking over the managers hot seat during February 2006, Enrico Tiritera has overseen a gradual improvement in the club's fortunes on the pitch. 2008-09 saw one of the best seasons for the club since gaining senior status. They attained their highest number of points (41) over a 30 match programme and reached the Quarter-finals of the East Anglian Cup for the first time. Season (2009-10) Hullbridge reached the Quarter-finals of the Essex Senior Cup, again for the first time,before losing narrowly to Football League side Dagenham & Redbridge (0-1) Finally in the 2010-11 Hullbridge Sports FC reached their first cup final as a senior club, the Country FA's Tolleshunt D'Arcy Memorial Cup. Unfortunately Sports were beaten 1-2 by Braintree Town.On December 19th 2012 Hullbridge played Southend United in the Essex Senior Cup at Lower Road in front of 280 fans(senior attendance record for an official first team game) and lost 5-0 with 4 second half goals from Freddy Eastwood and co after an impressive first half.

Records

  • FA Cup best performance: Preliminary round in 1999-00, 2000–01, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2006–07, 2008–09
  • FA Vase best performance: Second round in 2010–11



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