BROXBOURNE 4 v 2 THURROCK I
The ladies had a new shape to the team as they welcomed Emma Grant and Katie Lawrence into the team. Both ladies fitted in well and contributed to a fine team performance.
Concern was soon running through the team as an early injury to Charnie Horsman meant that the ladies were without a key ‘runner’. To add to this injury the ever reliable keeper Ally Hadley took a nasty blow to the back of the foot but did continue to play making her usual important saves to keep the ladies in the game. A fast and furious pace but it was Katy Jacks that caused immense problems for the Broxbourne defence. The ladies did score two very good goals from Lou Pike and Ally Bonner but despite valiant defence from captain Tess Eng they were unable to withstand the onslaught from the stronger Broxbourne attack .
THURROCK II 0 v 4 MALDON & LITTLE BADDOW
The ladies fielded yet another new team and took a while to settle but during this period the opposition took ruthless advantage and scored three very quick and early goals !
The game then settled and the ladies began to build some attacks. Sally Willett, player of the match, was an inspiration to her team mates with an incredible performance as she cleared attack after attack and was then sending through some unstoppable passes to her ever keen forwards!
The defence of Fay Tuffee, Natalie Evans and Lisa Simmonds worked tirelessly and on the occasions when the ball did get through Karen Richardson was on hand to pull off some unbelievable saves!
Spirits are high and the ladies should be commended for their never say die attitude!
Tees started this game with four players missing: Christian Jenkins and Steve Abbott still injured; goalkeeper Andy Gaut out for the rest of the season after last week’s injury and Jacob Agoro unavailable due to work commitments. Andy Gaut’s position was filled by the 2’s keeper Keith Mager who played a few games last season and fully justified his promotion. These injury problems have played havoc with the team’s bid for promotion from NE14HOCKEY Div 3SE but the healthy lead they have at the top of the division is giving them a little breathing space. They have two more points than second in the table Maldon & Little Baddow and five more than next week’s opponents Redbridge & Ilford.
With Thurrock coming out of the blocks early playing some outstanding hockey and stringing together a number of one two’s creating some dangerous attacks with Declan Millane putting away Thurrock’s first goal.
Matt Gaut opened up the lead by putting away his first of the game from a tactical short corner thought out by coach Andre Rudder and captain Steven Abbott.
The half time whistle was blown and Thurrock thought they where in the driving seat claiming their presents and the top of the league.
Early in the second half University of Essex came out fighting putting the Tees’ defence under a lot of pressure and winning a short corner from which came their first goal making the score line 2-1. With the pressure still on they cracked again allowing the university side to score a second but dubious goal with Tees protesting unsuccessfully to the umpire that the ball hit the opposing player’s foot.
After a painful opening 15 minutes Thurrock settled down with Nick Stapleton playing a stunning through ball to Declan Millane who skipped around the defence with Matt Gaut claiming his second and Thurrock’s third to make the score 3-2.
But the pressure was back on after Matt Leaver was carded and sin binned which meant Thurrock lost a critical player in the midfield. Thomas Ing then played a ball straight to the opposition’s central midfielder from a 16 yard hit out, who played it through to their striker to level the score at 3-3. From then on Tees’ heads began to drop and after some agonising final minutes the game ended in a draw. Man of the Match was Tommy Ing and Thurrock remain top of the league.
THURROCK II 5 v 0 CHELMSFORD V
On a cold and windy morning at Palmers College, Thurrock came up against 11 outfield players and no goalkeeper for the second time this season. However Chelmsford are a well drilled unit and made the Tees work hard for their opportunities.
Thurrock’s first goal came after a break away run from rookie Jeff West, who found Barney Knowles in the middle of the park with a pin point pass. Knowles then provided the killer ball for Michael Murray to tuck away into the bottom right hand corner.
The home side continued to mount pressure in the middle of the park thanks to the father and son combo of Liam and man of the match Kevin Appleyard, who supplied Murray with the perfect ball to double the lead.
The 2s ended the half 2-0 up, but knew that they should have a bigger margin, and after a motivational team talk by the experienced Kevin Appleyard, returned to their normal fluent style of play, cutting the seven man Chelmsford midfield to shreads. With no goalkeeper to beat, Thurrock added three goals in the second half with Murray completing a sensational hat trick, his third of the season, and new boy Ricky Smith weighing in with a brace of his own.
Thurrock ended the game 5-0 winners and continue their recent run of great results which sees them hot on the heels of Brentwood IVs and three points ahead of Redbridge & Ilford in third place.
Next week the 2s play University of Essex at the Wivenhoe campus.
THURROCK III 1 v 1 BRENTWOOD VI
Thurrock started strongly in this NE14HOCKEY Div 8SE game and pushed the visitors into defence. A shot from Jimmy Venus went narrowly wide whilst Michael Fleming hit the post within the first 10 minutes. Brentwood were restricted to rare attacks which were dealt with by the Thurrock defence marshalled by Rick Clubb giving keeper Richard Heighway solid protection. The majority of the game was played in the Brentwood half of the pitch but the game remained goalless at half time.
In the second half Thurrock continued to dominate the game but the Brentwood keeper was in form and pulled off a string of saves as Thurrock gained several short corners. Matthew Skinner looked certain to score when he seized on a clearance and dribbled around the keeper however his final shot went inches wide. Midway through the half, Brentwood mounted a rare attack and were awarded a short corner.
Heighway saved the initial shot but the ball fell kindly for the inrushing forward who flicked it into the net to take the lead. Thurrock continued to have the majority of the play but struggled to convert their dominance into goals. With five minutes to go Thurrock were awarded a short corner which was collected by Venus and rapidly switched to Rick Clubb who hammered the ball into the net. In the last minute Thurrock almost claimed victory when Liam Birch’s reverse-stick shot hit a defender on the line, and despite calls for a penalty flick, it was judged as dangerous play and a Brentwood free hit awarded.