Bill Robinson reports from Ship Lane.
Another fantastic game of football played in the sunshine at Ship Lane and we saw both teams committed to an attacking style which resulted in frantic end to end chances.
The performance by Thurrock maintains their unbeaten start to the season, made even more remarkably when finishing the game with only 9 men remaining on the field.
The first half was a rushed affair with both teams wasting chances when it came to the final ball, but both keepers still had to make saves even if they were relatively easy.
Thurrock could have taken the lead when chances fell to David Bryant, Matt Bodkin and Matt Paine but Weston Keeper, Kevin Sawer was equal to all of them.
The promising signs were that Thurrock continued to make more chances than the visitors and just had to keep probing the Weston defence waiting for the break through.
The second half started much the same as the first had ended, no changes were made by either manager to their playing eleven at the interval.
Things were about to change, in the 60th minute a Weston attack down the left flank seemed to be going nowhere when Ryan Andrews thought he had won a throw in, the referee awarded it against Thurrock, Kenny Clark making his 100th appearance and celebrating his 21st Birthday made his thoughts know to the referee in an outburst of foul language and after being booked in the first half for a reckless tackle he was shown another yellow and then the red.
Down to ten men Thurrock had to reorganize, they pulled striker Paul Olima back to his other role as centre back sacrificing the attack to defend the draw.
Weston saw an opportunity to exploit their numerical advantage and push on mounting sustained attacks.
David Knight came on to replace David Bryant and with his first touch volleyed just millimeters wide. With just ten minutes remaining Josh Llewellyn a Weston substitute broke away with his fresh legs, he thought he was clear but a trip by Lee Flynn sent the attacker flying and the referee reaching for his red card and Flynn was given his marching orders.
Thurrock amazed even their hardiest of supporters playing better football know that they were down to just nine players.
To everybody’s surprise it was Thurrock that took the lead, with just five minutes to go, a move involving David Knight and fellow sub Reiss Gilbey saw Fola Orilonishe shoot from close range Thurrock appealed that the ball looked have crossed the line but Ryan Andrews was following up and placed the ball firmly into the goal.
Incredibly Thurrock doubled the lead on 88minutes when another run from Fola Orilonishe saw him cut inside and this time he drove his shot past keeper Sawer.
Weston to their credit managed to pull one back with Clayton Fortune in the 93rd minute but Thurrock held on for the points.
Its been a dream start for the Fleet and the belief around the team and the club is at its highest for some time. They now travel to Lewes on Wednesday evening and then back to Ship Lane next Saturday for the visit of Eastleigh. As all managers say “we take each game as it comes” but its Thurrocks opponents that will be more worried this time around.
Thurrock: Woolley, Andrews, Anderson, Flynn, Clark, Paine, Bodkin, Lalite (Gilbey 80), Bryant (Knight 73), Olima, Orilonishe
Subs Not Used: Rafis, Lemonius, Luke