Two late goals by substitute Lee Roache saved Thurrock’s blushes against a very rugged and confident Stamford team of the Evo stik division one south.
But Stamford will make the long journey home wondering what if, they had two golden opportunities to score before Thurrock’s stamina started to show the difference between the two sides in the last ten minutes of the game.
Stamford should have taken the lead as early as the eight minute when Tony Battersby split the Thurrock back four went around keeper Joe Woolley and had the goal at his mercy but perhaps put off by Phil Anderson running back to cover and his shot was poor and hit the bar.
The visitors did eventually take the lead in the 26th minute, a defensive error allowed the ball to be played through the heart of the Thurrock back four into the path of Simon Mowbray who was eighteen yards out one on one with the advancing keeper Joe Woolley, Mowbray calmly side footed the ball past the keeper and into the net.
The visitors where only in front for six minutes when Thurrock broke quickly out of defence Matt Bodkin picked up the ball on the half way line ran aggressively at the defenders before passing the ball out wide to his left where Cliff Akurang collected the ball and took it around keeper Chris Wright before toe poking it home from a tight angle to bring the scores level.
The second half began as the first finished with frustrated players on both sides as moves broke down with poor passing.
It continued like that until the 69th minute when Thurrock started to play football, keeping the ball moving fast along the ground and quick movements between the players.
As a result Max Lette-Jallow came close to butting the home side ahead when a run down the right by Matt Bodkin produced a fine cross which Lette-Jallow headed firmly towards goal only for keeper Wright to finger tip onto the post.
Stamford’s response was positive and should have earned them a goal when Callum Reed broke out of defence and into attack, with Thurrock outnumbered 2-1 Reed’s pass was perfect for Danny Cotton who tried to beat keeper Woolley but once again Joe Woolley saved the day.
Just minutes later Danny Reed found himself in space on the edge of the Thurrock box, and he placed his shot but was just inches wide.
With only minutes left on the clock, so we thought, Thurrock finally got in front, an excellent cross ball from the right to the left from Matt Bodkin was brought down by Joe Collins who went past one defender before sending in a perfect cross for Lee Roache to head home from four yards out.
With 90 minutes played the referee continued with added time and he himself seemed in no hurry and this allowed Thurrock to score number three, this time it was Cliff Akurang as provider out on the left close to the goal line being challenged by two defenders, but he managed to get his cross over low into the box where again Lee Roache was poaching at the far past to slide home his second goal.
So finally Thurrock have a win, but just as important they move into the next round.
Thurrock: Joe Woolley, Craig Pope, Lee Flynn, Phil Anderson, Kenny Clark, Max Lette-Jallow, Matt Bodkin, Leon Lalite, Gary Noel(Lee Roache 55), Cliff Akurang, Danny Hart(Joe Collins 80)
Subs not Used: Paul Olima, Ryan Stalley, Jamie Doyle, Charles Andre-Foster