THURROCK I 4 – 0 HAVERING II
This was always going to be a fiery clash between the two rival sides with Havering fighting to stay up and Thurrock pushing for promotion. Havering started off the better of the two teams putting thurrock’s defence under some early pressure, Andy Gaut made some early saves, Man of the match Tommy Ing commanding his D well and his two wing men Jorden Salmon and Andrew Sargeant standing strong kept thurrock in the game. The game then turned on his head with Thurrock starting to pull themselves back into it by creating some good passing moves and opportunities. The scoring opened with some well worked passing throughout the team causing Havering to concede a short corner, the keeper saved Jacob Agoro’s effort but Matthew Gaut was on hand to tap in the rebound. Thurrock then stepped up their game and with some good passing from Stephen Edwards and Andre Rudder, Edwards released Steve Abbott to burst through the defence with strike partner Matt Gaut pulling the defence out of the way. The remainder of the first half was all about Thurrock’s composure and playing keep ball. The second half Thurrock kept pushing and pressing with great build up play from the defence and two wide Men Nick Stapleton and Debut Jonathon Boyd Thurrock kept creating good chances but couldn’t convert. Thurrock’s third goal came from Thurrock’s coach Andre Rudder, with some fabulous one-twos, bursting into the D to slide the ball into the bottom corner to make it 3-0. The game then changed and Thurrock’s hard work again paying off with captain Steve Abbott bursting through the tired Havering defence to cap off an all-round good team performance to make it 4-0.
On Saturday Thurrock travel to Braintree to play Phoenix, 2.30 pm push back.
Thurrock IIs 0 – 4 East London III
With a bit of stability the 2s could easily be pushing for promotion this season, but once again injuries and unavailability meant that the third team had to be raided to make a starting XI.
It could be said that Thurrock started the stronger side, but the East London goalkeeper had little to do thanks to his mean defence. At the other end of the pitch the Eastenders were being given too much time and space, and were unlucky not to score on 15 minutes, only the crossbar keeping the ball out. The Tee’s defence didn’t learn their lessons though, as five minutes later from a similar passage of play they did indeed find the net to go 1-0 up.
The home side had by then played their best hockey. The second goal looked destined to be cleared off the line, but somehow the ball found it’s way through, giving East London a two goal lead at half time.
Stern words were exchanged during the break, and Thurrock’s attitude did improve, sadly their hockey did not, and within five minutes of the restart the ball was lifted into the goal from an impossible angle, putting the result beyond doubt.
Just to rub salt into the wounds, the fourth goal came from the stick of Tee’s defender Mike Hewing when he was put under pressure by two opposition forwards.
A day to forget for the 2s, but at least all of the top five teams are out of the way for the rest of the season.
The 2s visit Maldon & Little Baddow on Saturday afternoon, 3 pm start.
ROMFORD IV 3 – 1 THURROCK III
With a break in their league program, Thurrock played a friendly which allowed them to try out new formations with no points at stake. Romford were the stronger side in the early stages and claimed the first goal after 10 minutes from a ball that looked to be going out of the back line but instead was pulled back for an attacker to squeeze it inside the near post. A second goal was conceded just before half-time from a well-hit short corner which was stopped by keeper Declan Salmon but crept across the line. In the second half Thurrock began strongly and George Horgan was unlucky to see his shot go inches wide after being set up by Oliver Smith. A strong run down the left by Harry Holloway led to a cross which was picked up by Michael Fleming who beat the full back only to be heavily tackled by the Romford keeper and seeing the ball hit the outside of the post and go out. An attack by Romford on the right seemed to be covered by defenders Sam Webb and George McAllister however the ball was quickly crossed to the left and a missed tackle by Derek Staton allowed the speedy winger to get his second goal and make it 0-3. Thurrock continued to work hard and eventually got on the score sheet when man of the match Lawrence Smith collected the ball in midfield and made a weaving run before passing for Michael Fleming to score. Thurrock continued to have the majority of play and forced a series of short corners but were unable to add to their score.
The Thirds are without a game this weekend.