FORMER Arsenal striker Jay Emmanuel-Thomas was a surprise starter for Hullbridge Sports against Coggeshall this afternoon.

Emmanuel-Thomas’ brother Caiden is a member of the Hullbridge squad.

And Sports manager Darren Manning was grateful to have Emmanuel-Thomas in his side.

“It was just a one off but Jay came in and did us a big favour,” said Manning.

“We have a few knocks and injuries so Jay played and it was great to have him with us.”

Sports won the game 3-1 with Caiden Thomas, George Cocklin and Kieran Bishop all on target.

Emmanuel-Thomas, 29, has also played for Ipswich Town, Bristol City and Queens Park Rangers in his career.