Salisbury City 1 Thurrock 1
Bill Robinson reports from The Raymond McEnhill Stadium…….
With the long wait over Thurrock opened their campaign with a visit to newly promoted Sailsbury City. The new management team have worked hard over the summer to rebuild a side ready to compete in the Blue Square Bet South.
The opening exchanges of the first half went Thurrock’s way as they pushed the home side back into their own half. Dave Partridge header Rocky Baptiste and Lee Boylan
All tested the home keeper in the first 20 minutes.
Then in the 25th minute Sailsbury were awarded a penalty when Dave Partridge pushed Matthew Wright to the a floor insight of referee. Wright stepped up to take the spot kick placing the ball to his left Thurrock keeper Tom Forecast dived to his right and made a fine save.
Both teams nearly scored before half time first when the ball broke loose an Lee Boylan struck a left football shot straight at the keeper and away to safety.
Then in the last few moments of the half Charles Knight out paced everyone as raced wide down the left put in a low cross to the near post where Jake Reid just failed to get his effort on target
At the start of the second period Sailsbury threatened to over run the Thurrock defence, keeper Forecast had to be on top form and made two more fine saves.
On 70 minutes the home side took the lead, a free kick wide on the right by the halfway line, was floated deep into the box as the ball bounced around it fell to Charles Knight who managed to get his right foot on the end and placed the ball into the far corner of the net.
Thurrock responded well and pushed forward and managed to get back on level terms five minutes later, thanks to a penalty awarded from hand ball by Brian Dutton. Lee Boylan stepped up and blasted the ball just wide of the keeper as he dived to his right.
Both teams continued to push forward looking for a winner and Claudio Herbert had the best chance for Sailsbury when his shot was creeping in under the bar until Forecast tipped the ball over.
Thurrocks best chance came when Dee Okojie fired in a low cross that was headed goal bound by a Sailsbury defender and hit keeper Connor Gough and away to safety.
At the final whistle with the points shared a good day’s work was achieved by Thurrock and now look forward to the visit of Dover Ath on Tuesday evening.
Thurrock: Tom Forecast, Rickie Hayles, Kurt Robinson, Dave Partridge, James White, Glenn Poole, Dean Cracknell, Paul Terry, Reece Harris, Lee Boylan, Rocky Baptiste.
Subs: Dee Okoije, Craig Holloway, Jamie Richards, Reece Morgan, Joe Bruce.