Bill Robinson reports from Ship Lane……
Thurrock suffered their second consecutive defeat and a big blow to their play off ambitions. Their performance was much better than the recent visit to Bath City and could have won the game in the first half but the accuracy and creativity of their forwards failed to penetrate the Braintree defence.
Paul Olima in a strikers role today came close to opening the score in the 17th minute, Thurrock worked the ball down the left and the through ball to Olima found him on the edge of the box, he turned inside a struck the ball firmly goal bound, keeper Craig Holloway was more in the way than actually saving the shot as the ball rebounded off his arm and against the post and out for a corner.
Braintree took the lead against the run of play when Kenny Clark tried to clear an incoming cross, the ball went high into the night sky and Thurrock keeper Joe Woolley came out to collect/punch but his attempt was mistimed as he was challenged by Sean Marks. The ball came from Marks head and rolled conveniently across the goal line.
Thurrock responded in a positive way and levelled the scores just three minutes later, this time a break from defence found Lee Flynn and Fola Orilonishe working the ball down the left flank. Orilonishe weaved his way into space and fired over his cross which was met by Olima’s head and the ball soared into the top of the net.
The game continued at a frenzied pace in the second half and the action was cycling from end to end. On 65 minutes another piece of poor defending by Thurrock allowed George Purcell to strike home the winner. It started with a corner, the ball was bouncing around the area and it was Purcell who was the quickest to react and score with what was to be the winning goal.
Despite throwing on all three substitutes and pushing more men forward Thurrock had little effect trying to breach the stubborn Braintree defence.
Thurrock travel to St Albans City on Saturday, for their third of eight games to be played in March. It’s not been a good start of the month, manager Hakan Hayrettin is still upbeat of reaching the play offs but needs to find a strike force that will get the goals flowing again.