Old Boys close the gap after Stubbs hits a late winner

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Old Southendian Reserves 2-1 Harold Wood Athletic Reserves

A LAST-MINUTE GOAL from David Stubbs proved decisive as Old Southendina Reserves closed the gap at the top of the ProKit UK Essex Olympian League Division Two table with a narrow 2-1 victory over battling Harold Wood Athletic Reserves at Garon Park.

Skipper, Olly Tatton-Bennett passed up an opportunity to give the Seasiders the lead – his spot-kick saved by Richard Bonner after Stubbs had been felled. And that began to look like a costly incident when Brad Foley handed Harold Wood the lead.

However, Tatton-Bennett was offered another opportunity from twelve-yards and this time made no mistake – Athletic losing goalkeeper Bonner to a red card after hauling down Ben Franklin.

But the Old Boys initially failed to capitalise on their numerical advantage, passing up several decent opportunities before Stubbs raced clear in the final moments to net a dramatic winner and confirm the home sides sixth-successive league victory.

Speaking to Yellow Sport after the match, Old Boys boss, Ben Manley, enthused: “I’m chuffed to bits. That was the most dramatic game we’ve had since we took charge.

“It was so important for us to win to keep our good run going and win our first game on the new pitch.”

Manley added: “We didn’t stop playing our football and showed massive heart to get the win at the end. We had incredible support today and to hear everyone erupt after David Stubbs got the winner was very special.

“Luke Stillwell and Olly Tatton-Bennet were immense again in the middle and Tatts showed massive character to step up and take the second penalty after missing the first. All season he’s personified what this team is all about.”

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Brian Jeeves

Email: [email protected]