HULLBRIDGE Sports have completed the signing of Rob Budd to end their goalkeeping crisis.

Lewis Greene suffered a dislocated finger in Sports’ 4-2 defeat to Hertford Town at the weekend.

And boss Darren Manning has reacted quickly to bring in former Brentwood Town shot-stopper Budd.

Manning said: “Rob is a very experienced goalkeeper and it’s fantastic to have signed him after Lewis’ injury.

“I think being able to bring someone of Rob’s calibre in at such short notice shows how far we have come as a club.

“We were scraping the barrel at times in the past when we were looking to bring new players in, but now we are able to sign players who have interest from other clubs.

“It’s great to have got Rob into the club and it allows us time for Lewis to recover.

“He has got a finger injury and one bad catch could set him back, so it’s important that he recovers properly before we even look at bringing him back into the side.”

Budd made his first appearance in a Hullbridge goalkeeper’s jersey during the club’s final pre-season outing against Hornchurch.

The newly-promoted Isthmian North outfit suffered a 3-1 defeat to the Isthmian Premier League promotion favourites, with Ollie Sotoyinbo notching Sports’ solitary goal.

Despite the loss, Manning was pleased with his side’s performance.

“We were amazing and played some really good stuff against a fantastic Hornchurch side,” added Manning, who led Hullbridge to the Essex Senior League title on the final day of last term.

“If anyone finishes above Hornchurch in the Isthmian Premier League this season then they will win the league.

“We tried to put on a defensive masterclass and Hornchurch struggled to break us down.

“The ball fell for them for all of their goals but, overall, we defended very well.

“Rob’s performance in goal was another positive for us because he came in at reasonably short notice and did well.

“I was very impressed with our display and I feel as though we are in a good position heading into the first competitive match of our season this weekend.”

The trip to Hornchurch brought the curtain down on Hullbridge’s pre-season programme.

Sports will entertain Essex Senior League side Stanway Rovers in the extra preliminary round of the FA Cup on Saturday.

The encounter is set to take place at the Ryan’s Heating Stadium.