Thurrock 1 v 3 Maldon and Little Baddow
Thurrock came into this match with four points above Maldon & Little Baddow, playing some great hockey from the last couple of weeks, but all ended with some bad decisions and a 3-1 loss. T’s were up for a big game and it all went wrong after 10 mins when a short corner was awarded for a bad tackle from Man of the Match Luke Danbrook which Maldon put away with great finshing. Five minutes later and Maldon went on the break with a 3 on 2 in the ‘D’.
Keeper Andy Gaut had to come out of his goal and make a save when the Maldon player hit the ball at goal, but Luke Danbrook saved it on the line. Five minutes from half-time Maldon scored their second of the game from a short corner. A half-time team talk from captain Steve Abbot saw Thurrock come out fighting and their goal came from the captain himself, but with attack after attack Thurrock just could not get another goal. Maldon kept pressing hard and with the defence light, due to Thurrock pressing forward, Maldon got a harsh penalty flick for left back Andy Sargeant pushing the Maldon player in the back. 3-1 and it was all over. With the T’s defence of Andy Sargeant, Tommy Ing and Luke Danbrook playing really well it was a close call for man of the match, but with one vote in it Luke Danbrook received it.
Thurrock play away at Clacton on Saturday with the hope their form will return.
Waltham Forest 2 – 0 Thurrock 11
It was a day to forget for the young Thurrock side, as they travelled away to Waltham Forest.
After three postcode changes Thurrock turned up to discover that only 10 men had made it to the ground successfully, as time was also tight due to travelling Thurrock had little time to prepare for the match and many had to change on the side of the pitch.
This aside Thurrock were put under early pressure, not because of the missing man but down to basic errors and poor distribution. Tees then got going after the 15 minute mark and pressed Waltham Forest and created the best opportunites withTom Maddon unluckly not to score after a well placed ball from Barney Knowles found him in the D,Thurrock ended the half on a high with the score at 0-0.
Thurrock then started the half as they finished with Phil West carving inroads down the right and successfully winning short corners which they failed convert, Tees mantained this pace into the last 10 minutes when tired legs began to show and the effects of having one less man on the field took its toll. The home side hit Thurrock hard on the counter attack and a disheartend Thurrock saw the ball end up in the top left corner.
Waltham Forest then doubled their lead after a loose ball was picked up and slotted into the goal from close range. Thurrock continued to apply pressure and saw a late volley of shots stopped and blocked by the opposing defence.
Thurrock now slip to third in the league six points behind the leaders, and play second in the table Maldon and Little Baddow at Palmers this Saturday at 12.30 in a must win game for the Tees.
UPMINSTER V 4 – 2 THURROCK III
Thurrock played their best game of the season and were unlucky not to take points from the unbeaten leaders of NE14HOCKEY Div 8SE. Upminster dominated the early play and defenders George McAllister, Sam Webb and Oliver Smith had to make some strong challenges to repel a series of attacks. Midway through the half an attack down the right led to a cross which bobbled into the D and although keeper Declan Salmon, got his foot to it, the ball trickled over the line.
Thurrock were spurred into action and drew level within five minutes when Gary Venus made a run through the middle and passed to father Jimmy Venus who laid the ball off for uncle John Venus to hammer it past the advancing keeper. Both teams battled hard but no further goals were scored before half time. In the second half Upminster reorganised their formation and stretched Thurrock .
After 10 minutes a missed tackle on the 25 metre line allowed the speedy attacker to enter the area and flick the ball past Salmon to make it 3-1. Thurrock continued to work hard and Mat Skinner dribbled through the middle and hit the ball to Michael Fleming who was unlucky to see his shot go inches wide. Thurrock gained a series of penalty corners which eventually produced a goal for Jimmy Venus. Thurrock battled to get an equalising goal but could not penetrate a strong Upminster defence. In the final minute a breakaway by Upminster caught Thurrock on the hop and although Salmon saved the initial shot the rebound fell to the stick of the attacker who smashed the ball into the net
Next Saturday home to Old Loughtonians Woodsmen at 2pm
THURROCK IV 0 – 3 UPMINSTER VI
For the first time in four years Thurrock were able to field a fourth men’s side for this friendly against Upminster VI who normally play in NE14HOCKEY Div 9. Upminster made the early pace and went into the lead after only 10 minutes. Thurrock gradually got used to playing together and a run up the right by Harry Holloway produced a cross for veteran Dave Shatwell, making a welcome return after a year out due to illness, to shoot just wide.
An attack by Upminster just before half time led to a mishit shot which bobbled past keeper Bob Leeks and into the net. After an uplifting half-time talk by coach Rick Clubb, Thurrock came out strongly in the second half and Joe Harvey intercepted a pass on the halfway line and ran through the Upminster defence before crossing to Lawrence Smith who was unlucky to shoot just wide. Upminster mounted a strong attack but the final pass was intercepted by Tom Archer and moved back up the pitch by Hamish Patel who produced an inch-perfect pass for Shatwell who beat the keeper only to see his shot hit the post and rebound to safety. With five minutes to go, Upminster added a third goal from a short corner. The team are hoping for another good performance next week when they play against Witham at 3.30.