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Southend Manor trio face old club, Hullbridge Sports, in derby
THREE former Hullbridge Sports players are set to face their former side tonight in a spicy looking local derby at Southchurch Park.
Keeper Lawrence Priddle and defenders Will Peck and James Braithwaite are likely to be involved for Southend Manor, who will be looking to bounce back from an opening day, 3-0 defeat at home to Sporting Bengal.
Sports, though, started their Essex Senior League campaign with a fine win at league new-boys FC Romania, courtesy of goals from Rob Lacey, Rob Hodgson and James Lacey, and their manager Dan Braney says they are in confident mood.
“Because they lost their first game we expect them to come out fighting,” he said.
“They have some of our former players who have gone there to prove a point, and that makes it a bit more interesting.
“I’ve also heard they have a few youngsters so it will be interesting to see how they do this year.
“Manor have done well for the past couple of years but how they do this time will come down to how well the younger players handle the pressure of a full season.”
Manor manager Leon Woodford said he was perfectly happy with how his side were playing at half-time on Saturday and felt they were unlucky to concede three late goals which flattered Sporting Bengal.
He said: “The boys are still upbeat and we’ll go into this game with our heads held high.
“My experience of Hullbridge Sports when I’ve come up against them at this level is that they can be good or very bad.
“I’m expecting it to be quite an aggressive game because we have a couple of their players here from last season.”
The match kicks-off at 7.45pm at Southchurch Park and is hoped to attract a healthy crowd.