Bill Robinson reports from Cressing Road…..
Braintree Town 1 Thurrock 0
With a new management regime in place headed up by Greg Lincoln and three new debutants in the squad the Fleet supporters were noisily optimistic that they could see an unexpected outcome on their travels.
The match failed to come alive for the most part as both sides fought out a tight midfield battle which resulted in the long ball game being deployed by both sides.
Braintree had the better start putting Thurrock defence under pressure and forcing a number of corners which they dealt with very well.
The Irons took the lead in the 28th minute when Thurrock failed to defend a corner from the right. The ball came over to the far post where Nicky Symons was in acres of space for a free header which bounced awkwardly off the ground and was finally put over the goal line by Adam Bailey-Dennis from about a yard out.
The goal failed to increase the games momentum and despite Thurrock’s determined efforts going forward they failed to make any impression on the Braintree goal.
Manager Greg Lincoln did make a couple of substitutions midway through the second half, swapping Jo Flack for Lee Roache and Craig Dobson for Max Lette-Jallow.
In the last five minutes of normal play Thurrock pushed forward with Lee Roache looking the most dangerous player likely to score, but it was Matt Bodkin who came close with a solo run into the Braintree box but he just failed to get his shot away before being challenged.
At the end of the game Manager Greg Lincoln was optimistic that he had seen signs of improvement and was hopeful that that elusive win for Thurrock was not far away.
Thurrock: Joe Woolley, Craig Pope, Kenny Clark, Rob Swaine, Lee Flynn, Max Lette-Jallow, Matt Bodkin, Leon Lalite, Jo Flack, Cliff Akurang, Joe Carlos.
Subs: Lee Roache, Paul Olima, Phil Anderson, Craig Dobson, Andre Charles-Foster