Darren Manning targets tie with county’s finest after Hullbridge Sports win

DARREN Manning is hoping to take on one of the county’s leading sides after Hullbridge Sports booked their place in the fourth round of the Essex Senior Cup.

The Essex Senior League high-flyers pulled off a third round upset as they claimed a 4-2 win over Isthmian North strugglers Witham Town.

Nathan Scarborough notched a brace of goals, while Jamal Allen and Michael Salako were also on target at the Ryan’s Heating Stadium.

And Manning is hoping for a tie at the likes of Southend United.

The Hullbridge boss said: “It would be a bit of a reward for the players if we were to get a good draw because they deserve a nice away day after the effort they have put in.

“It was a good result and we were quietly confident coming into the game.

“We have good depth in our squad, so we were happy to make six changes to Saturday’s side.

“At centre-back we had one who hasn’t played for eight weeks and the other for three weeks, so they really impressed me with the way they performed.

“Nathan Scarborough was outstanding up front.

“When I signed him, I had Justin Gardner texting me saying he will be the top goalscorer in the league.

“He has a reputation and he is getting fit now.

“I think he has now scored six goals in his last five games, so he is in really good form at the moment and we need to keep him playing.”

Quickfire goals from Allen and Scarborough, who both latched onto errors by Witham goalkeeper Luca Collins, allowed the hosts to move into a two-goal lead inside the opening 15 minutes.

And Manning stressed the importance of moving into a commanding position early on.

“I said we need to work on our first 20 minutes,” he added.

“If we were drawing 0-0 after 20 minutes, I knew we would win the game.

“I wanted a good mentality and to get an early goal.

“We were 2-0 up quickly, so they ticked all of the boxes for me and I was very pleased.”

Scarborough completed his brace, while Witham hit back through Alejandro Seoane Barber before the break.

George Marsh saved a Johnny Ashman penalty, but Samuel Ashford converted from the spot soon after.

Salako rounded off the scoring late on and Manning was keen to praise Marsh for his penalty save.

Manning admitted: “George is an outstanding goalkeeper.

“I knew George would save one of them and before the first penalty was taken, I said he would save it.”

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