ESSEX SENIOR LEAGUE: Hullbridge Sports ran out impressive 3-1 winners against Sawbridgeworth Town to give their season the perfect start.

Sports outran their opponents in every department, but it looked as though they would be set for a long afternoon when they fell behind inside ten minutes.

Sports felt as though they were denied a penalty before they did eventually equalise. Harry Skinner picked up the ball outside the box and smashed home.

Liam Nash had two chances before the break to put the hosts in font but they didn’t take the lead until after injury time at the end of half-time – Nash finally getting his reward to drill home from inside the box.

With an hour on the clock it was 3-1 – Jamie Buffin getting his reward and putting the game beyond Sawbridgeworth.

Bowers & Pitsea were the only other side in the division from south Essex to take any points as Rob Small’s competitive debut ended in a goalless draw with the much-fancied Tower Hamlets. However, it should have been three points for Bowers as star signing Rob Whitnell sent a header wide from only six yards in the best chance of the match.

Basildon United lost 1-0 at home to Barking at the TLM Stadium. The Bees were without several strikers and Colin Cook was left bemoaning the late departures of Steve Brown, Terry Martin and Dave Reynolds the week before the match.

Southend Manor look set for a long season after they went down 5-0 at FC Romania. They will be hoping for better when against Stansted on Wednesday.