HULLBRIDGE Sports opened up a four-point lead at the top of the Essex Senior League standings after securing a thrilling 4-3 win over Sporting Bengal United.

Nathan Scarborough scored a hat-trick for the hosts at the Ryan’s Heating Stadium, while Emmanuel Okunja was also on target for the table-toppers.

Darren Manning’s table-toppers raced into a seventh minute lead as Scarborough headed home.

Okunja doubled Sports’ lead nine minutes before half-time by guiding Sam Taylor’s cross into the back of the net via the post.

But two goals in the space of four minutes got Sporting Bengal back on level terms early in the second half.

And the game was turned on its head as Sporting Bengal went in front with just over 20 minutes to go.

But the visitors’ lead lasted just three minutes as Scarborough was found by Luke Hornsley and equalised.

Scarborough completed his hat-trick with 11 minutes remaining.

Meanwhile, Southend Manor claimed a 3-2 victory over fellow strugglers Leyton Athletic.

Adam Peek’s side found themselves two goals down in the first half, but they registered back-to-back triumphs thanks to a fine comeback.

Jordan Chambers, Mohamed Kargbo and Dylan Jones were Manor’s goalscorers.