THURROCK I 0 – 1 WALTHAM FOREST
The ladies were in a position of strength this weekend and hopes were high.Yet again it was goalkeeper Ally Hadley who was the busiest player. She made some fine ‘trademark’ saves and some exceptional ones whereby Waltham Forest broke through and were in one on one situations. Sally Ellis supported her goalkeeper well and cleared away many of the moves and notably saving a sure goal on the line. The ladies had many moments of settling and in these times captain Tessa Eng and Katie Lawrence linked well in midfield to create some excellent attacks which were picked up on by Natalie Beardwell and Lou Parrott.The ladies went close to taking the lead from a fine run by Jo Taylor but to no avail. The ladies were chasing the game for most of the game and they believed that they had addressed the deficit to see that a fine worked corner between Lou Pike and Katy Jacks was disallowed. Another frustrating game but yet again the ladies should take comfort from a determined performance.
Ladies I away to Southend this Saturday
THURROCK II 1 – 1 EAST LONDON
The ladies fielded a strong team and went in confident to address their earlier loss to this team. The team was shocked when East London opened the scoring with a goal that bewildered the defence as the marking had been tight! The team was not thwarted and led by inspirational play from Karen Lucking the ladies continued to attack. The speed of the East London attackers was to prove very challenging for the T’s defence but the ladies kept the goals out and keeper Karen Richardson was on fine form and with the solid defence of Natalie Kerrin, Nicky Jones and Lisa Simmonds the team was pleased to see the deficit stay at a minimum for half time. The second half saw a similar game and the opposition became frustrated with T’s playing an excellent waiting game. Their patience paid off when the ever accurate Sally Willett sent out a perfect short corner to Karen Lucking who rocketed the ball into the back of the net! A well earned point.
On Saturday Ladies II away to Old Loughtonians III
OAKWAY 2 – 1 THURROCK III
The ladies left this game frustrated and bewildered to have lost this much needed point in the last five minutes! The game was played at a fast pace and T’s were unlucky to concede an early goal and then they saw within minutes a goal go squandering when Grace Millane narrowly failed to convert a fine pass from her team mate. It was Millane again that was involved in numerous attacks with Debra Blaimey causing problems for the Oakway team. At half time it was agreed that the best form of attack was defence and it was captain Jackie Simmonds who paved the way for her team to equalise. The Oakway team came back with a vengeance but the ladies fought well despite losing the calm and effective Liz Grey to a ‘stick in the face’! The team became a little unsettled whilst new tactics were being considered… during this period of play passionate play by Carly Belcher and goalkeeper Kerry Dent kept out the goals. As the last few minutes beckoned the ladies were horrified to see the constant threatening left forward pick up the ball and place it perfectly past the player of the match Dent. A game that was bittersweet as the ladies had played some of their best hockey all season. A game that has now given the ladies minimal chance of winning their relegation battle.
The IIIs are home to Old Loughtonians IV at 2 pm on Saturday
THURROCK I 1 – 5 SAFFRON WALDEN
With a disappointing first 10 minutes Saffron Walden broke through the defence and put a soft goal past T’s goalkeeper. Thurrock being 3-0 down at half time was not the best postion they had been in all season. The pressure eased off slightly when Matt Gaut deflected home Thurrock’s first goal of the match, and applied some pressure playing some good hockey, but the strikers just could not find the back of the net.
Unfortunately Thurrock eventually lost 5-1 with Thomas Ing winning man of the match. The promotion places from NE14HOCKEY Div 3SE are becoming close with only three points separating the top three teams, Thurrock’s lead being cut to two points with three games to play.
This Saturday the Firsts are away to Maldon & Little Baddow at 2.30 pm
WITHAM III 0 – 1 THURROCK II
After last week’s win and reclaiming top of the league from local rivals Brentwood, it was time for Thurrock to press the advantage away at Witham.
Tees found their stride quickly and were 1-0 up thanks to a Ricky Smith reverse flick inside the first two minutes. Tees continued to press in the first half to no reward thanks to the home goalkeeper, keeping his side alive time and time again.
After the break Thurrock continued to press, but were again kept at bay by the Witham keeper. Things looked set to change when stand in skipper Mike Murray was bought down after taking the ball past the keeper, however only a short corner was given which Thurrock failed to convert.
Things got a little heated when Thurrock were reduced to nine men and Witham 10, due to some conflicts of interest with the umpires, as both teams tried to push for the game changing goal. A smart save from Andy Gaut and some big tackles from Ben Knowles kept Witham a bay.
The final whistle confirmed Thurrock remained top of the league, and with Brentwood only managing a draw at Saffron Waldon, Thurrock are now three points clear with three games remaining
Next week Thurrock play Waltham Forest at Palmers with a 12.30 pushback.
BRENTWOOD VII 0 – 5 THURROCK III
Thurrock began this NE14HOCKEY Div. 8 game strongly and went into the lead after only five minutes when Jimmy Venus collected a pass from Matthew Skinner and beat the keeper from close range. Thurrock maintained their momentum and when Michael Flemings shot was saved, Liam Birch collected the rebound and quickly passed for Gary Venus to slip the ball inside the far post. Brentwood gradually built up an attack and beat the Thurrock defence but Dave Leeks came quickly off his line to clear the danger and kick up the field for Tom Madden who drove up the left before centring to Jimmy Venus who fired from the edge of the area past the advancing keeper only to see the ball hit a defenders foot on the line. However Venus stepped up to claim his second goal from the penalty spot.
Thurrock maintained their effort in the second half and pressurised the home defence. Captain Derek Staton made a run down the left before pulling the ball back and crossing for Jimmy Venus to score his hat trick from close range. When the home side mounted a rare attack George McAllister made a strong tackle to deny the attacker and sent the ball up the left wing where it was claimed by Himesh Patel and hit into the area. As the keeper moved out to clear it, Michael Fleming beat him to the ball and slipped it into the net to emphasise Thurrock’s victory.
On Saturday the IIIs are home to Upminster VII at 11 am
THURROCK IV 2 – 2 UPMINSTER VI
This newly formed side played a friendly against a team who has just gained promotion from Division 9SE, which Thurrock are hoping to join next season. From the start the visitors drove forward and went into the lead after 10 minutes when an attack down the right led to cross for an attacker to beat keeper Mike Fleming from close range.
Thurrock worked hard with Joe Harvey playing a series of neat passes for Oliver Smith to put pressure on the Upminster defence and forcing the keeper into making some timely saves. The game flowed from end to end with both teams having chances. Just before half time the ball hit a Thurrock defender’s foot just inside the area but, rather than award a free hit, the umpire allowed play to continue and the ball was fired into the net. Thurrock started stronger in the second half and after 10 minutes Tom Archer skilfully weaved through the visitors defence before hitting the ball past the advancing keeper. Thurrock continued to play the better hockey to push Upminster back into defence Dave Everett shooting just wide after driving into the area from the left wing. With 10 minutes to go a shot by Archer was saved by the acrobatic keeper but Jimmy Venus was on hand to level the score.