Thurrock 2 v 3 West Ham

A result that will frustrate all Fleet supporters as Thurrock again lose to a goal scored in the last few minutes of the game.

Thurrock had the greater possession and more chances but failed to capitalise on it and the West Ham XI with some Premiership players on display finally turned the game around in the last 20 minutes.

Thurrock started the game brightly and were rewarded in the 18th minute when Phil Anderson converted from close-range in a crowed penalty area, it was Anderson who reacted first after the ball was fired in from the right flank, leaving keeper Peter Loveday stranded.

Joe Woolley had already been tested by the Hammers attack and had kept them out but in the 29th minute he was unable to stop Seb Huke from equalizing. It came when a shot from Cristian Montano was saved by Woolley but he could only push it into the path of Huke who had the simple task of stroking the ball home.

Lee Flynn and new recruit Paul Lime kept the West Ham defence on their toes with telling runs and long range efforts but without adding to the score.

At Half time Hammers boss Alex Dyer made three changes notably replacing the 1st team managers son Andrae Zola, who was lively in the first half but ineffective against the Thurrock midfield.

David Knight replaced Fola Orilonishe in the 69th minute and was in immediate action, he raced clear of the Hammers defence with only substituted keeper Deniz Mehmet to beat, he rushed off his line to make a fine save low down to his right with the upper part of his arm.

As Thurrock pushed forward with the possession it was inevitable that they could get caught on the break. In the 79th Eoin Wearen rose the highest to head in from Ahmed Abdulla’s perfectly placed corner. Thurrock failed to clear there lines when the easy ball would have been the safest course instead they found themselves back peddling and conceded a needless corner that led the West Ham goal.

David Knight on another night could have easily bagged himself a hatrick, keeper Mehmet had foiled him twice already but in the 86th minute Knight found the back of the net with a left footed strike from the edge of the box which went in off the inside of the post.

With only minutes on the clock could Thurrock hold onto a well deserved draw, last season and the start of this has proved once again that they cannot.
Legs may have been a little weary compared to the professional opponents but the Hammers went looking for a winner and it fell to new signing Frank Nouble in the 89th minute.

It was an excellent strike that beat Woolley, but the goal came thanks to Montano’s trickery on the left flank, he went past two defenders then cut inside and curled the cross into Nouble’s path for him to strike the ball firmely past Woolley.

Thurrock: Joe Woolley, Lee Flynn, Phil Anderson, Rob Swaine, Kenny Clark, Matt Paine, Matt Bodkin, Leon Lalite, David Bryant, Paul Lima, Fola Orilonishe
Subs: David Knight

West Ham XI: Peter Loveday, Tony Brookes, Calum Davenport, Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson, Matthew Fry, Cristian Montano, Nick Barrett, Nigel Quashie, Andrea Zola, Sebastian Huke, Frank Nouble
Subs: Deniz Mehmet, Callum McNaughton, Simone Bezzicheri, Eoin Wearen, Ahmed Abdulla

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