Mens I xxx
SAFFRON WALDON 0 – 8 THURROCK I
Thurrock started this game top of the table and finished even further ahead with surrounding teams dropping points. Thurrock started with the ball for the first time this season and did not let Saffron Waldon get a sniff at it. The first goal came in the fifth minute from a Jacob Agoro shot which the keeper saved and Steve Abbott hammered home the rebound. The second came just minutes after with youngster Declan Milane linking well with Nick Stapleton and Jacob Agoro who won Thurrock a penalty flick which Steve Abbott calmly converted to make it 2 – 0. Tees then completely hit their stride and worked the ball all the way from the back through Tommy Ing, Jorden Salmon and with some quick passing from Matt Gaut and Christian Jenkins released Captain Steve Abbott to beat a defender and complete his hat-trick. But the scoring didn’t end there, Steve Abbott completed the first half with two more great goals to take his first half tally to five with the half time score Thurrock 5 Saffron Waldon 0. The second half home side came out with a bit more fight but Thurrock’s defence kept their second clean sheet of the season and looked very strong. Thurrock’s sixth goal came from some more slick passing as Nick Stapleton threaded the ball through for last season’s top scorer Matt Gaut to slot the ball home. Thurrock then scored two more, one through a Jacob Agoro smash, and then another well-worked team goal through Matt Gaut. This was a fantastic team performance and everyone showed great discipline. Thurrock are now top of the league with a four point gap.
Next week the Firsts face second place Maldon & Little Baddow, 2 pm at Palmers and would appreciate everyone’s support.
Mens II xxx
THURROCK II 3 – 0 WITHAM III
The 2s started the day in fourth place in the NE 14 Hockey Div 6SE, only three points behind leaders Brentwood.
Witham gifted the Tees a string of short corners in the first 15 minutes, and it was from one of these that Thurrock were awarded a penalty flick, when the ball was stopped on the line by a defender’s body. Michael Murray stepped up confidently, but flicked the ball lamely to the keeper’s right making it easy for him to palm it away and keep the score at 0-0.
The midfield of Liam Appleyard, Kevin Appleyard, Matt Skinner and the recalled Tom Madden made sure that Michael Murray and strike partner Ash Snell had plenty of chances, and on 25 minutes Murray eventually put the 2s one up.
Witham did pose a few threats to the Thurrock goal, but keeper Keith Mager was not going to be beaten easily.
Murray made the half time break a little easier by slamming home his second, but the performance of the home team deserved much more than just a two goal cushion.
The visitors made more of a game of it in the second half, however poor execution of their short corners made it surprisingly easy for the 2’s defence to record their second clean sheet in succession.
Tom Madden added the third with 10 minutes remaining, but only after the visiting keeper had managed to keep Murray, Snell and, most impressively, Gary Ginsburgh’s efforts out.
A good team effort by Thurrock, along with two of the three teams above them dropping points, sends them up into second spot, and as the season unravels it seems that the title race is on, and Thurrock are very much involved.
The 2s will visit Waltham Forest next Saturday afternoon at 1 pm
Mens III xxx
THURROCK III 0 – 1 BRENTWOOD VII
Thurrock started strongly in this NE14HOCKEY Div 8SE game and Jimmy Venus was unlucky not to put them into an early lead when he received a pass from Himesh Patel and dribbled around the keeper only to see his shot hit the post. Thurrock continued to press forward and play the better hockey but strong defending by Brentwood prevented them converting their dominance into goals. Midway through the half a rare breakaway by the visitors caught Thurrock pushing too far up the pitch and a mishit shot deceived keeper Richard Heighway and rolled into the net. Although Thurrock continued to exert pressure on the visitors defence they were still behind at half time. In the second half, to ensure the whole squad had equally involved in the game, Thurrock made three substitutions. Unfortunately this allowed Brentwood to claim control of the game and Thurrock found themselves heavily pressurised and Heighway was forced into making a string of last minute saves to prevent them going further behind. As Brentwood continued to pen Thurrock into their own half attackers Jimmy Venus and Michael Fleming were forced to come deeper to collect the ball and were unable to worry the visitors
Next Saturday away to Upminster V at 3pm
Ladies I xxx
WALTHAM FOREST 2 – 2 THURROCK I
The ladies travelled to Waltham Forest with yet again a new team and with regular players being unavailable. The game was played at a fast pace and goalkeeper Alison Hadley had an outstanding game as she thwarted many of the attacks. In the early stages of the first half attacker Ally Bonner pulled a hamstring and had to play on as the ladies had no substitutes.
Waltham took the lead and the ladies fought back and equalised through Katie Jacks. The game was fast, and on occasions furious, and the opposition scored again but due to inspirational play by captain Tessa Ing the ladies fought with even more gusto and eventually after good work by Tessa Ing, Katie Jacks was able to net her second and the equaliser.
Next Saturday home to Southend I at 12.30
THURROCK II 0 – 4 OLD LOUGHTONIANS
The ladies worked exceptionally hard to contain the young, fit and fast Old Loughts’ forwards. Fine goalkeeping from Karen Richardson kept the scoreline to a respectful deficit. An injury to key defender Natalie Evans meant that captain Emma Grant had to do some quick thinking whilst on pitch and during these changes the Ladies lost their composure for a short while. Returning player Fay Tuffee gave a reliable and solid performance in the rearranged defence. Meera Sud and Karen Lucking worked tirelessly in the middle and the ladies left the game disappointed but still with high aspirations for next week when they travel to South Woodham Ferrers to play top of the league!
OLD LOUGHTONIANS 6 – 2 THURROCK III
The Ladies fielded yet another new team and a number of the players were called upon to play in new positions. The very fit opposition punished Thurrock in the early stages of the first half and were proving to be difficult to contain as they scored five goals in quick succession. Despite this it was truly creditable that the Ladies did not give in and a very quickly taken free hit resulted in player of the match Charlotte Adnams finishing off a good team move.
Half-time was a discussion full of tactics and rearranging… and what an outcome. The second half saw Old Loughts only add one more goal and T’s scoring again when Amy Phillips was on hand to fire home. Thurrock’s defence was wonderfully supported by outstanding GK Kerry Dent. The veteran Jude Hare played an invaluable role and thwarted so many of the attacks.
Next Saturday home to Havering IV at 11 am
The ladies section yet again have not gained a victory but yet again the hope is returning and highlights are:
· Outstanding performance from all three goalkeepers
· Great team spirit
· Full effort from all players and spectators