Catholic United 2 - 1 Rayleigh Town
By Thomas Kearney
MATCH WINNER HOLLINGSWORTH STARS FOR HOOPS AGAIN
Catholic United continued their resurgence up the Premier Division table following a 2-1 win against Rayleigh Town at the Len Salmon Stadium
Having not recorded a victory in their opening nine matches, a Tom Hollingsworth brace ensured a sixth consecutive win for the Hoops.
Due to the ground sharing situation with Bowers & Pitsea, Wednesday night’s fixture was originally scheduled for before Christmas & still leaves Catholic with four league matches to play before the end of January.
With this in mind, Dan Trenkel utilised his squad by making five changes to the side that beat Great Baddow 6-0 at the weekend.
What didn’t change however was Hollingsworth’s form in front of goal.
Reminiscent to the final goal on Saturday, Callum Matthews’ quick free-kick sent the striker through on goal, & having beaten the offside trap despite the visitors’ protests, converted through the legs of the Rayleigh goalkeeper.
The scoreline remained the 70th minute in a game of few clear cut chances on a cold & damp winter evening.
Collecting the ball on the right, Patrick Kearney played Hollingsworth in behind the visitors’ defence before been brought down inside the area by Connor Bridger who was fortunate to remain on the pitch despite the ‘triple jeopardy’ ruling.
The striker picked himself up to score his 24th goal of the campaign, & more importantly double Catholic’s advantage.
With five minutes remaining, Rayleigh grabbed a consolation goal through Bailey Moss - holding off his marker, the forward neatly finished from the edge of the box.
What could have been a nervy final period was comfortably seen out by Dan Trenkel’s side to secure the three points.
Next up for Hoops is a trip to bottom of the league Manford Way.
All the best for the rest of the season, Rayleigh Town.