Bill Robinson reports…….
Two second half goals sealed Thurrocks fate and ended their adventures in the FA Cup for another season. In front of 3,269 supporters in the very impressive Kassam Stadium, Thurrock gave a good account of themselves but never really looked like scoring throughout the ninety minutes.
Despite the constant singing from the 100ish Fleet supporters Oxford proved to strong an opponent for Thurrock to overcome.
The first half remained goalless although Oxford did come close when Adam Murray hit the outside of the post in the 16th Minute Thurrock had a early spell of pressure which included three corners but either the penetration wasn’t there or the Oxford defence just outwitted the Thurrock strikers depending on your allegiance.
Towards the end of the half the frustration grew as Thurrocks passing became fragmented and potential attacks broke down when balls went astray or straight to home side.
Half Time 0-0
The second half was played out mainly in the Thurrock half but Oxford’s half time substitution of replacing Adam Chapman with Sam Deering seemed to be the key to opening up the Thurrock defence.
It was a run from Deering that started the move for the opening goal, his weaving run down the left and pin point cross fell for Jamie Cook who’s toe poke was somehow kept out of the Thurrock net and away for a corner. The corner was only partially cleared and Mark Creighton was on hand to shot them into the lead from about 10 yards out.
Thurrock tried hard to get a break through but Oxford where now on a charge and had the taste of victory motivating them to keep pushing forward. In one such attack as the cross came in low around the six yard box Oxford’s Simon Clist stuck out a foot but was millimeters away but did enough to put off Lee Flynn who deflected the ball into his own goal in the 78th minute.
The game was now over, Thurrock had little fight in them to try and even the score and as Oxford’s attack peppered the Thurrock goal, Adam Murray, Jamie Cook and Sam Deering all came very close to adding to the score line before the referee blew for time.