Tees pegged back but still top the league
Date posted: 27-02-2011
Mens Ists: Crostyx 2 v 2 Thurrock
Thurrock come out of the blocks strong and fast, playing some lovely hockey allover the field, the captain Steve Abbott opened the score line to make it 1-0 after a good passing move. Still applying the pressure Christian Jenkins struck home with a second but was disallowed due to not being in the D. The home side did look dangerous on the break and had some good chances but man of the match Tommy Ing, with some good defending, and Keith Mager in the Thurrock goal making some good saves, kept Thurrock in front. Just before half time Waltham Forest converted a good passing move to make it 1-1.
In the second half Tees looked the better team and were causing the Waltham Forest defence some problems, and soon after Jacob Agorro converted a trademark short corner flick to put Thurrock 2-1 up. This increased their confidence but they failed to convert numerous chances to finish the game off. Just before the final whistle the home side struck on the break again to level the game at 2-2.
With Maldon & Little Baddow losing to the rapidly improving Crostyx II Thurrock are five points ahead of the second placed team with four games to go. A win on Saturday would cement their position at the top.
Next week Thurrock host Saffron Waldon II at Palmers College.
Mens 2nds: Thurrock II 3 v 1 BRENTWOOD V
It was built up to be the game of the season, and it did not disappoint on a dark, glum and wet day at Palmers. Thurrock knew that a win would take them top of the table, but found it hard to get out of the blocks early as Brentwood kept the ball for long periods. Tees were lucky not to go behind and only a smart save from Andy Gaut kept out ex-Thurrock old boy Darren Higgins. However Brentwood never gave up and were rewarded when, from a short corner, Thurrock failed to clear their lines to make the score 1-0.
The rest of the half was contested in the middle of the field with possession being passed between the teams while searching for a breakthrough. Just before the break a pin-point ball from captain Michael Murray saw a diving Gary Tredgett get his stick to a ball and find the net to take it to 1-1.
After a strong team talk from Jacki Milne saw Thurrock go out and push Brentwood more and more, with direct passes and challenges from Jordan Salmon, Geoff West and Ash Snell. Thurrock then received the rewards when Kevin Appleyard found the net to give Tees the lead. Thurrock then added a third when Brentwood were caught on the counter attack and failed to clear their lines with Gary Tredgett again in the right place at the right time. Brentwood mounted pressure in the last 10 minutes but the Thurrock defence held strong with a stand out performance from Gary Ginsburgh holding the Brentwood attack at bay. At the final whistle Thurrock had earned a 3-1 victory and knew that they had taken control of division 6SE.
The Twos are away to Witham III at 12.20 pm
Mens III THURROCK III 0 – 6 EAST LONDON IV
Thurrock faced the side that stands second in NE14HOCKEY Div 8SE and were under pressure from the start. After only five minutes East London scored from a short corner but the goal was disallowed. Thurrock relief was short lived however and an attack on the left produced a pass to an attacker who flicked the ball into the net from close range. The visitors dictated the pace of the game and cut out any Thurrock passes and drove forward in numbers with keeper Richard Heighway making some timely saves to keep them at bay.
Midway through the half a Thurrock pass was cut out and the ball moved up the field leaving defender Sam Webb facing three attackers. The ball was driven into the D and slipped past the advancing Heighway into the net. Thurrock struggled to make progress and eventually conceded a third goal from a short corner five minutes from half time. Thurrock found themselves 0-4 behind within two minutes of the restart when a series of missed tackles allowed the East London centre forward to sprint through and flick the ball into the roof of the net.
Thurrock reorganised their formation and made some headway with attackers Jimmy Venus and Michael Fleming linking together to force the keeper into making a diving save to push the ball around the post and obtaining a series of short corners. Five minutes from time East London added a fifth goal from a well-rehearsed short corner routine. As the umpires signalled the last two minutes, Thurrock attempted to get onto the score sheet attacking in numbers but they inevitably left themselves open to a swift counter attack and a sixth goal with the last hit of the game.
This Saturday the Thirds are away to Brentwood VII at 11 am
Only the Ladies II played this weekend
Ladies II : CROSTYX V 5 – 0 THURROCK II
This game was always going to stretch the ladies to their maximum and without many of their regular players they certainly found it an uphill challenge!
The ladies were saved a ‘thrashing’ due to the incredible performance of goalkeeper Ally Hadley whose saves had the opposition in awe!
Crostyx showed their dominance with a team performance that was uniformed and so tight that Thurrock were unable to break through. Karen Lucking as usual inspired her team mates and was marked closely by the Crostyx defence.
Captain Emma Grant had a difficult role to reform her team as so many players were out of position but her tactics and her own fine performance kept the goal difference to a reasonably respectable level.