Ramblers faced a daunting task on Tuesday night having to face league leaders Hullbridge away from home. However, they were able to select their strongest team of the season to start the game.
The game started with Hullbridge, whose confidence was high, very much in the ascendancy and they squandered a couple of half chances in the first 15 minutes. As Ramblers settled in to the game and confidence grew we started to have more of the play without creating any significant chances. After 30 minutes Hullbridge created their best chance of the night, a volley from a cross 12 yards out centre of the goal which brought out an excellent save by Chris Leonard the Ramblers keeper.
5 minutes later an excellent Hullbridge cross was headed over the bar from some 6 yards out. Ramblers continued to enjoy good possession and 8 minutes from half time the ball bounced out of a challenge to Ryan Stillwell some 30 yards out who struck a fabulous dipping volley in the top corner leaving the keeper flat footed and omly able to spectate. There was no significant further action before half time and Ramblers were buoyed by the mid way score. HT 0-1.
The second half continued very much in the fashion the first half finished and Hullbridge's efforts were becoming more frantic and their composure evaporated as Ramblers dogged determination to hold on to their lead continued. Leonard the Ramblers keeper had to make a couple of regulation saves from crosses and shots directly at him and with about 10 minuites to go we had two opportunities to score the second a dipping volley from Luke Stillwell rattling the crossbar and with 5 minutes left Charlee Hughes had the best chance of the night to seal the victory when put through with a clear run a goal but the shot was saved by the legs of the Hullbridge keeper. Ramblers substitutions were made later on to relieve tired bodies and provide much needed energy on the pitch to withstand any last minute onslaught. As it happened there were no further incidents and Ramblers deservedly saw out the remaining minutes of the game to earn a well-deserved victory. FT 0-1. Next match is at home in the FA Vase against Ilford.