Thurrock grabbed a vital three points in an impressive display and victory against fellow strugglers Lewes.
The game started briskly as an early free kick for Lewes after foul on Lewis Ide but the kick was driven harmlessly wide. Rob Swaine looked bright up front but it was Lewes enjoying the majority of possession although most of the early exhanges were marked by mistimed passes and challenges.
Craig Dobson fired over the first corner of the game in 10th minute but former Fleet favourite Paul O’lima fired the ball away as Thurrock started to press.
The first real chance of the game came in the 14th minute when Dean Cracknell hit the bar from close range. Two minutes later Leon Lalite gave Fleet the lead when Lewes failed to clear and Lalite in the box fired the ball home from close range.
Thurrock’s game was now dictated by neat passing with David Knight pivotal. Lewes fought back. A Butler corner in the 31st minute was easily swept away by Lewes but you had the feeling that Thurrock needed a two goal cushion.
Fine work by Craig Dobson earned a corner which he fired over to the head over Kenny Clark who headed just wide as did Phil Anderson a minute later.
Lewes finished the half well and a doube save from Joe Woolley kept the Fleet with their noses in front.
Thurrock re-started strongly with David Knight slipping the Lewes offside trap and from an acute angle fired hard and low, hitting the post.
Disaster was to strike in the 52nd minute when Phil Anderson upended Paul O’lima who got up to score from the spot. O’lima had a chance to score again a minute later when he broke free but Joe Woolley was able to stifle his shot.
Lewes thought they had the lead when Tom Hutchison headed in from a corner but the assistant referee spotted an infringement. Lewes were now in the ascendancy but once again the game had another twist.
In the 68th minute Kenny Clark had his shirt pulled in the box and referee Paul Forrester pointed to the spot.
Dean Cracknell showed calmness under pressure by slotting the ball home.
Lewes just couldn’t respond to the pressure and simply didn’t have the firepower to get back into the game. Their frustration showed as Lewis Ide was sent off for a reckless challenge late on. To compound their misery, in injury time, David Knight broke free and calm as you like put the game beyond doubt.
The result still sees Thurrock in the relegation zone but with another vital game on Tuesday against Basingstoke, things are looking much more positive at Ship Lane.
Joe Woolley, Craig Pope, Adam Gross, Leon Lalite, Kenny Clark, Phil Anderson, Matt Bodkin, Dean Cracknell, Rob Swaine, David Knight, Craig Dobson
Subs: Lee Roache, Alex O’Reilly, Joe Carlos, Aarron Waters, Jo Flack
Chris Winterton, Anthony Barness, Andy Pearson, Jermaine Wright, Tom Hutchinson, Chris Breach, Tom Murphy, Lewis Ide, Paul Olima, Ben Godfrey, Sam Butler (David Wheeler 43)
Subs: Lewis Hamilton, Sonny Cobbs, Reece Jones, Nathan Green