Mens Ist X1
CROSTYX 2 1 – 3 THURROCK 1
It was a tough game to start the season in NE14HOCKEY Division 3SE for the Men’s 1s, after a long summer off. Thurrock started brightly, moving the ball around the defence and midfield, whilst keeping the ball from the opposition. Unfortunately, it was Crostyx who scored first as they broke quickly down the right wing, leaving Thurrock defence outnumbered as the Crostyx striker chipped the ball over the goalkeeper, Andy Gaut, as he tried to close him down. Thurrock then started to respond by putting the Crostyx defence under a lot of pressure; their goalkeeper just keeping them in the game as the first half came to an end.
Thurrock started the second half as they ended the first, with a centre midfield partnership of Jacob Agoro and ‘Man of the Match’ Nick Stapleton controlling the game and giving the Thurrock wingers and strikers lots of the ball as the pressure built up on their opponents. This pressure then paid off as captain Steve Abbott scored from a well-worked short corner, levelling the score. The local team continued to press the Crostyx defence while the defence of Tommy Ing, Luke Danbrook and Jordan Salmon continued to stop any attack that come against them. Thurrock’s pressure then paid off as the new boy, Christian Jenkins, put the ball into the bottom corner after a clever dummy from Michael Murray, to eventually bring Thurrock 2-1 up. Thurrock then sealed the game after many close chances as Matt Gaut scored with not much of the goal to aim at. The local team finished with the perfect start to the season.
Next week the Firsts are at home to University of Essex, 2 pm start
THURROCK 2 2 – 0 Brentwood 5
The 2s opening tie of the season in the NE14 HOCKEY Division 6SE was the potentially tricky visit of newly promoted Brentwood 5s. Unlike the start of last, thurrock were able to field a near full strength side, and although the team hadn’t played together in months they quickly imposed themselves on the visitors, taking the lead through Ashley Snell’s effort from the top of the D. Brentwood were given a lifeline when Mike Hewing deliberately brought down an attacker in his own D, but skipper Keith Mager saved the resulting penalty flick to maintain the one goal advantage going into half time.
Thurrock had two new players on show at Palmer’s, midfielders Jeff West and Nick Sheard, and both impressed their new team mates, West with his impressive work rate, and Sheard with his calm distribution. The 2s put the points beyond doubt when Tom Madden capped a fine performance with a well taken goal.
Next week Chelmsford host the 2s.
THURROCK 3 1 – 1 ROCHFORD CASUALS
Both teams were playing their first game in NE14HOCKEY Division 8SE Thurrock having been promoted last season and Rochford being relegated. The game was hard fought from the start with both teams battling hard. As Rochford drove forward defenders George McAllister, Declan Salmon and Sam Webb had to be alert to put in a string of timely tackles. After 15 minutes a clearance by Salmon was collected by Jimmy Venus who slipped the ball for Michael Fleming to drive into the area and lay on a pass for Lawrence Jackson to beat the keeper from close range. Thurrock continued to have the majority of possession but could not add to their single goal by half time. In the second half Rochford reorganised their formation and were much more threatening but strong defending kept them at bay. With 10 minutes to go, a quickly taken free hit by Rochford found Thurrock out of position allowing the speedy attacker to flick the ball into the net for the equaliser. In the last minute a similar situation almost led to Rochford claiming the points as a shot from the edge of the area went just wide of the Thurrock post.
Next Saturday the Thirds away to Brentwood 6, 11 am