Thurrock I 6 v 3 Saffron Walden
After the recent disappointing result to East London, Thurrock needed to bounce back against Saffron Walden this week to keep themselves in the promotion race. And bounce back they did.
Right from the first whistle Thurrock put the Saffron Walden defence under pressure, and it was not long before Jacob Agoro opened the scoring. Thurrock utterly dominated the early play and could have easily been further ahead before the home side got themselves back in the game with an equaliser due to poor defensive marking in the midfield.
Thurrock was back ahead soon after when Andre Rudder ran the ball deep into attack and laid off to Matt Gautt who had made excellent position inside the circle. They continued to dominate offensively and another flicked goal from Agoro as well as a rebound opportunity pounced on by Andre Rudder gave Thurrock breathing space.
Andrew Sargeant stood strong alongside Luke Danbrook who was welcomed back into defence. Despite their best efforts and some outstanding saves by goal keeper Keith Mager, making his debut, more poor defensive marking in the midfield enabled Saffron to stay in touch with the Thurrock side.
The highlight of the day was Man of the Match Matt Gaut who ran the Saffron defence off their feet with two more brilliantly worked goals. The last not only sealing his hat trick by also bringing up his thirtieth goal for the season, an outstanding return for the hard running striker.
It was a superb attacking game from Thurrock who completely overwhelmed their opponents to run out eventual 6-3 winners.
Thurrock take on Crostyx next weekend at home with push back at 2 pm.
OLD LOUGHTONIANS ACADEMY 1 v 3 THURROCK III
Thurrock were fired up for this NE14HOCKEY sponsored Division 9 game and went ahead after only five minutes when a cross by Liam Birch was collected by Michael Fleming and hammered past the keeper. Loughts were spurred into action and came back strongly, however Thurrock ’s defence marshalled by Chris Smith held firm. Thurrock regained the upper hand and a strong run on the right by Lawrence Smith pulled the Loughts’ defence wide before passing to Lawrence Jackson who quickly moved the ball on for Jimmy Venus to add to Thurrock’s score.
Soon afterwards Jackson was unlucky to put his shot inches wide from a pass by Venus. Thurrock continued to play the better hockey and Fleming made the score 3-0 when he intercepted a pass and dribbled into the area before smashing the ball into the net. Loughtonians began to get more into the game and forced a series of short corners, however keeper Andy Gaut, despite carrying an injury, made some good saves to ensure that Thurrock reached half time without conceding. In the second half, the home team increased their strength with a couple of substitutions and pressed forward.
After 10 minutes a skilful pass allowed the speedy forward to collect the ball on the Thurrock 25 metre line and move into the D before flicking the ball into the net. Thurrock were in no mood to give up and increased their effort with Man of the Match Oliver Smith making some decisive tackles on the right to restrict the attacking threat. Loughts had most of the play but were unable to dominate a determined Thurrock side as Sam Webb held firm at right back to cut out a string of attacks and clear the ball up the field and ensure that Thurrock inflicted the first defeat of the season on the home team.
Next week Thurrock play Romford at Palmers 12.30 start.