Thurrock 2 Bishops Stortford 2
Blue Square South
Bill Robinson reports from Ship Lane………..
Thurrock remain unbeaten but lose their 100% home record, yet things could have been so different had the Thurrock sharp shooters been more critical in their finishing. Matt Bodkin, Paul Olima and David Bryant all had first half chances that could have put the game beyond the visitors reach.
Yet at the break Thurrock went in 2-1 down and it was again another roasting by Manager Hakan Hayrettin that spured them on in the second half.
Thurrock started well and took the lead in the 9th minute with a super strike by Fola Orilonishe, the move started with a Matt Bodkin run down the right flank, his cross was partially blocked by the Stortford defence and it was Paul Olima who push the ball out wide for Orilonishe to run onto and score from about 12 yards with a shot that hit the underneath of the bar before the back of the net.
Thurrock lead up until the 23rd minute, Danny Harris and Lewis Smith broke free of their markers who persued them into the box and when Kenny Clark downed Smith the referee had not hesitation in pointing to the spot and booking Clark for the offence.
Marlon Patterson placed the ball neatly on the spot before doing the same into the net, sending Keeper Joe Woolley the wrong way.
Stortford continued to look dangerous on the break but thanks to some over zealous flags from the linesman Thurrock kept them at out.
Just before half time Brayley made a break which beat the offside trap he squared his pass back to the unmarked Ben Bowditch who side footed home goal number two for the visitors.
The second half was less than exciting, Stortford came out looking to hold onto their lead and Thurrock had issues trying to leave their own half and started to resort back to a long punt forward with Bryant and Olima chasing down the centre backs who had little difficulty in dealing with these tactics.
Then on 60 minutes after Olima and Bryant had managed to get the ball tangled between their feet the defence closed in to clear the ball but only into the path of Matt Paine who from 20 yards out in a central position drove the ball straight into the net giving Nicky Eyre no chance in the Bishop Stortford goal.
A few tactical substitutions made by both Mangers failed to deliver any real changes in the tempo of play and it began to look like both teams had settled for the draw.
Bishop Stortford should have stolen all the points in the 88th minute when substitute James Dayton was unmarked on the left with just the keeper to beat but his shot went flying high over the bar.
Thurrocks best league start for many seasons looks set to continue unless their poor disciplinary record catches up with them, 7 league games played and they have collected 4 red cards, when the suspensions kick in the size of Thurrock’s squad may become a real challenge for Manger Hakan Hayrettin.
Thurrock: Joe Woolley, Ryan Andrews, Rob Swaine(Phil Anderson 82), Lee Flynn, Kenny Clark, Matt Paine, Matt Bodkin(Junior Luke 88), Leon Lalite, David Bryant(David Knight 75), Paul Olima, Fola Orilonishe.
Subs Not Used: Adam Rafis, Reiss Gilbey,