Chelmsford III 3 v 5 Thurrock I
Thurrock ended the season in style with a good win, but will have to wait for the result of next week’s game involving East London and Crostyx to find out if they gain promotion. East London have to win their final game to get promotion, Tees having two more points.
Thurrock started the game nervously and were put under pressure for the first 10 minutes, but after this they finally found their feet and started to put some attacking play together. They took the lead when Michael Murray scored his first goal of the game from a short corner being saved by the keeper and coolly flicking the ball into the net. Shortly after this Murray got his second of the game with a close range shot.
Chelmsford did look dangerous with a couple of attacks but some desperate defending from Thurrock’s defence meant they kept the two goal lead. However, just before half time they finally got a goal back by catching Thurrock on the break.
In the second half Thurrock were the much better team and got their third goal when captain Steve Abbott hit the ball into the D and man of the match Steve Edwards scored from close range at the back post. But straight after Chelmsford got themselves back into the game from a short corner goal.
Thurrock got their two goal lead back when Jonathan Boyd crossed the ball and top goal scorer Matt Gaut got a touch in front of the keeper to score his first goal of the game. Shortly after Gaut got his second, and Thurrock’s last goal, with a close range shot from some good build up play.
Just before the final whistle, Chelmsford got a goal back but it was too late in the day and Thurrock held on for the final minutes to gain all three points.
ROMFORD II 2 v 1 THURROCK II
Thurrock went into this game off the back of a great win the week before. However with some injuries the squad was bolstered with some of the third team squad. Thurrock started the game with only 10 players and were pushed within the first 10 mins when the home side broke through the Tee’s defence to put the ball past the keeper. The Tee’s were then handed a break when the 11th man got to the pitch, this swung the game in favour of the travelling side. With some great tackling and passing from the back James Martin cruised through the home side,s defence to put the sides level into half time. At the start of the half Tee’s started the stronger side but the home side,s goalkeeper made some good solid stops. Then it was the turn of Romford to pile on the pressure and were persistent enough to get a tap in deflection at the back post. Unfortunately the Tee’s had no answer to that goal and the final score was 2-1.
OLD DEFERRIANS II 4 – 9 THURROCK III
Thurrock finished the NE14HOCKEY sponsored Division 9 season in fourth place thanks to this win against a strong Woodham Ferrers side. The home side started strongest and went into the lead after only five minutes. Thurrock battled back and Jimmy Venus levelled the score when he collected a pass from Liam Birch before beating the keeper from close range. Minutes later the compliment was returned as Venus laid on an inch-perfect pass for Birch to flick the ball into the roof of the net over the advancing keeper.
After 20 minutes Venus made a solo run from the half way line evading a string of tackles before hammering the ball into the net to make it 3-1. Within two minutes Deferrians made it 3-2 as they converted a short corner. Thurrock suffered a further set back as defender Lawrence Smith was injured and had to leave the field, however Thurrock worked hard to regain the upper hand and were rewarded when Birch scored his second after receiving a pass from Matthew Skinner and dribbling around the keeper.
With Thurrock in the ascendency Venus got his hat trick from a short corner after 30 minutes. In the final minute of the half a breakaway by Deferrians led to a shot which was hit from outside the area but cruelly hit the post and rebounded to give the attacker an easy close range shot to make it 5-3 at half time. Thurrock began the second half strongly and Kevin Appleyard intercepted a pass in the middle of the pitch and weaved through the defence before flicking the ball past the advancing keeper.
Thurrock maintained their pressure and Venus got his fourth when he collected a pass from Michael Fleming and slipped the ball inside the post. A rare attack by Deferrians found Thurrock pushing up too far and a shot from the edge of the area by ex-Thurrock player Tony Smith was saved by Salmon but rebounded for another attacker to put the ball into the net making it 7-4. Thurrock quickly regained their composure and Michael Fleming nipped in to push the ball past the keeper from close range.
Thurrock lost a second player when Gary Venus who was playing his first game after a three month lay off sustained an injury, but it proved a minor set-back as Birch scored from close range for his hat trick making the final score 9-4.