DARREN Manning could not hide his delight after Hullbridge Sports recorded their first ever Isthmian North triumph.

A Joe Wright strike allowed Sports to seal a 1-0 win over Cambridge City.

And boss Manning was overjoyed to claim all three points.

“I am very proud,” said Manning, whose side are plying their trade in the fourth tier of non-league football for the first time in the club’s history after being crowned the Essex Senior League champions last term.

“All of the credit goes to the players because they put in all of the work.

“They stuck to the gameplan and the application was fantastic, so I could not fault the players.

“Although Cambridge dominated possession and we were without the ball for large spells, I felt we were in control.

“We created some really good chances for ourselves and we could have scored a few more goals to make it a bit more comfortable for ourselves.

“When they piled men forward looking for a late equaliser, we broke on the counter-attack really quickly and we could have made it a little less nervy.

“But I didn’t care because one goal was enough and it’s great to have got our first win of the season.”

Although Cambridge enjoyed the majority of possession in the first half, Sports created a decent opening when Yemi Adelani got in behind the hosts’ defence but the striker’s effort went agonisingly wide.

However, Hullbridge were to grab the only goal of the encounter with 57 minutes on the clock.

Wright’s impressive curling effort was out of Cambridge goalkeeper Lewis Landers’ reach and found the back of the net.

With the home side looking to snatch a share of the spoils, Cambridge threw players forward.

And Hullbridge came close to capitalising on the open space Cambridge had left at the back as Adelani rounded Landers before striking the post.

Bertie Brayley missed the chance to mark his debut with a goal as the former West Ham United trainee fired over after being found by Tim Monsheju.

But Manning was full of praise for goalscorer Wright and overjoyed to keep a clean sheet.

“Joe bent it into the top corner from the edge of the penalty area after being found by Matt Rose and it was a great goal,” added Manning.

“He has been fantastic and growing in confidence every week.

“I have a lot of praise for him but it was a team effort and it was great to keep a second clean sheet.

“We have not conceded an away goal yet, which is fantastic.”