Bill Robinson reports from Park View Road……..
A true grit performance by Thurrock showed just how far they have come in twelve months. This time last year Thurrock had 21pts and were in 19th position looking like a relegation team, this season they have played some outstanding football and are well placed to secure a play off place.
But after today’s game will manager Hakan Hayrettin consider it two points lost or a good point earned ? Only time will tell, but remaining unbeaten in 2010 is a statistic they kept up coming back from 2-1 down against a strong Welling side.
After taking the lead in the 23rd minute from a Leon McKenzie penalty following David Bryant being downed in the box, Thurrock continued to dominate possession and should have taken advantage of their superiority and extended their lead but Welling held out and eventually found an equaliser in the 43rd minute.
It came from a Welling corner that was partially cleared but only as far a Sam Cutler who drove a shot into a crowded penalty box and the ball deflected of Tom Whitnall and into the net.
The second half was again a spirited affair with Welling coming more into the game and eventually they took the lead from a quick break out of defence.
It was Sam Hurrell who made the run down the left flank before hitting a shot low and hard that Joe Woolley pushed away, it was picked up on the right by Tony Finn, he drove a low shot across the goal and it fell to Sam Cutler who blasted the ball into the roof of the net.
Thurrock were on the back foot only for a short while before they went looking for an equaliser. Both Fola Orilonishe a substitute Matt Judge had half chances to test the Welling keeper.
On 74 minutes Thurrock appealed for a penalty when it looked as if Leon McKenzie had been clearly pushed off the ball, but to the frustration of the Thurrock fans and bench the referee waved play on.
Unfortunately manager Hakan Hayrettin could not hold back his disappointment and verbally asked the linesman why he had not seen the offence.
Referee Mr D Rock halted play and without consulting his assistant ordered Hayrettin off and into the dressing room.
The incident spurred the fleet on and the equalising goal eventually came two minutes later. It came from Matt Bodin, he dispossessed centre back Graeme Andrews 20 yards out he run to the edge of the box where he drove the ball home with pin point accuracy from 18 yards out.
The last few frantic minutes we saw both teams go close to snatching a late winner but the game ended with the points shared.
Thurrock:Joe Wooley, Craig Hope, Phil Anderson, Rob Swayne, Kenny Clarke, Reiss Gilby(Matt Paine 15, Matthew Judge 70), Matt Bodkin, Leon Lalite, David Bryant, Leon Mckenzie(Paul Olima 90), Fola Orilonishe.
Subs Not Used: Lee Flynn, Ryan Andrews.