Hockey: Thurrock men go from strength to strength

Thurrock Hockey

THURROCK MENS 2s 2 – ROCHFORD 1s 2

THURROCK came up against a full strength Rochford side who were looking to halt a recent run of poor form. From the start Rochford looked to put the weakened Thurrock defence under pressure. Slowly, Thurrock managed to get into the game and after a period of possession Thurrock won a series of penalty corners. After 3 saved efforts, Thurrock finally found a way through the Rochford keeper when Steven Abbott’s crisply struck shot found the backboard. This gave Thurrock the confidence to go forward more, and a quick counterattack saw some great work by Liam Ross and Abbott playing a nice one-two around the keeper for Abbott to score his second of the game. This spurred Rochford to throw men forward, and they scored just before the half time whistle after some good passing undone the Thurrock defence.

The second half saw Rochford dominate possession and Thurrock were holding on to their slim lead. A couple of quick counter attacks should have put Thurrock further ahead, but for the keeper saving from Paul Mailey and Abbott seeing an effort go just wide. Rochford continued to press and finally found a way through, with a well struck shot into the top corner, from their young central midfielder. Thurrock managed to absorb the onslaught in the final few minutes to remain unbeaten and stay top of the league.

THURROCK LADIES 2s 0 – CROSTYX 3s 2

Unfortunately, Thurrock lost their unbeaten record this season in this second versus third clash. Crostyx started the strongest and soon took the lead with a fierce strike from the top of the D after it looked like Thurrock had thwarted their initial attack. Tees then lost winger Jade Franklin to a head injury, meaning returning player Lou Harrison was called into immediate action. The opposition continued to push forward and Tees found themselves 2-0 down after they were left short of defenders at a penalty corner due to early break by Lou Pike from the line. In the second half, Thurrock’s game improved and they were more threatening in attack, forcing some good opportunities from penalty corners. They thought they had pulled one back when Sarah Judd finished at the near post from a Fay Tuffee strike, only for the whistle to have blown just before the ball crossed the line, via a defender’s foot, for another penalty corner. After some confusion, where the goal was disallowed, then given, then disallowed again, Tees had to settle for another penalty corner. At the other end, Crostyx still posed a threat, with goalkeeper Alison Hadley making some great saves. Despite all their efforts, Tees were unable to get a goal back to set up a nervy finish for the opposition. Thurrock will hope to return to winning ways when they face Old Loughtonians at Palmers in their final game before the Christmas break.

THURROCK MENS 2s 3 – OLD SOUTHENDIAN 5s 2

Thurrock started the game with 10 players but held their own against a strong running Southend side with George Crawford showing promise in his debut game. Up to strength after 10 minutes Thurrock played the better hockey and Liam Birch collected a cross from Ben Clark and pushed the ball just inside the far post for the lead. When Southendians attacked in numbers the Thurrock defence was pulled out of position and a fierce shot looked goalbound before Ryan Jones made an outstanding save to push it over the bar. Thurrock linked together some slick passes and Martin Healy put the ball into the D for Birch to shoot. The initial shot was stopped by the keeper but Regan Harvey collected the rebound and dribbled through the defence before adding to Thurrock’s lead. Thurrock continued to dominate the game with defenders Hayden Keeler Stone and Jo Harvey marshalled by Dave Leeks quickly cutting out any danger. Just before half time a Southendian shot was saved by Jones but the rebounding ball struck a Thurrock player’s foot and a penalty was awarded which gave the visitors their first goal. The penalty award disrupted Thurrock’s play and allowed Southend to build up a strong attack which led to the equalising goal early in the second half. Thurrock were spurred into action and regained the upper hand to force the visitors to defend in numbers with the keeper making a string of last minute saves. Eventually Thurrock’s pressure told and Liam Birch played a one-two with Regan Harvey to draws the keeper out of position allowing him to get his second goal to restore Thurrock’s lead. In the latter stages Southendians attacked strongly in an attempt to equalise but outstanding tackling by Keeler Stone backed up with saves by Jones ensured a home win.

THURROCK LADIES 1s 1 – CHELMSFORD 3s 1

Chelmsford Ladies 3s visited us at home this week for a tough game to battle it out for the points. With a few key members of the team missing we were in for a hard match. Throughout the first half we fought hard from end to end with some great play along the middle by Louise Parrott, Gemma White, Hannah Barcham, Katie Lawrence and Nikhol Chapman with some help from Lucy Cowman and Charlotte Adnams with the defence battling Chelmsford out of the D. Going into the second half we knew we could win this with our previous weeks play. From a short corner Louise Parrott hit one into the back of the net bringing us up to 1-0. However, an unlucky last minute goal by Chelmsford ended the game 1-1. Although disappointing we were happy to come out with a point.

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