Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Hockey: Tough week for Thurrock Hockey

Ladies 2s 2 v 2 Phoenix 2s –

THURROCK were playing one of the top teams in the league and were a bit unsure how hard this game would be. Tees fielded a strong team that had bonded well over the last few games.

Thurrock pressured Phoenix from the start, knowing that they had to be strong and play hard. It was a very attacking game from both sides, with short corners being awarded at both ends. The first goal of the match came from one of these short corners, hit hard out by Karen Lucking, followed by a cracking shot from Sally Willett. Half time came seeing Thurrock leading one nil.

Second half started well for Phoenix with them scoring at the whistle. This woke up the Thurrock side and made them more determined to get something from the game.

From a long corner, Sally Willett found Fay Tuffee at the top of the circle, who rolled the ball inside the D and shot with Lauren Marshall deflecting the ball into the net. They thought they had taken the lead but an adamant Phoenix umpire said it was no goal, which shocked Thurrock.

With their heads still held high, the home side continued the match creating more chances, but it was to be Phoenix day when a penalty flick was awarded which found the back of the net.

Thurrock deserved more from this game, and even though they had lost, they showed how far they have come as a team and that they can challenge any team they face. A very positive game for all players.

Next week Thurrock are off to Basildon, 10.30 start.

Mens 1 

Bishop Stortford I 7 v 0 Thurrock I 

Tees had an unlucky result against a fast moving Bishop Stortford side with a 7-0 loss. Bishop Stortford started strongly with two goals in the first 10 minutes and they persistently pressed the Thurrock goal line. However, once settled into the pace of the game, Thurrock began to look dangerous with some good counter attacking plays.


Some excellent distribution from Kyle Taylor and Sandeep Gahir were providing excellent distribution to the wingers; Man of the Match Liam O’Reem and right half Nick Stapleton were making some excellent offensive runs. The second half saw a new and refreshed Thurrock side playing some good 1-2 hockey, however failing to capitalise on despite excellent movement and opportunities generated by Matt Gaut. Andy Gaut persistently endeavoured to keep the Bishops Stortford strikers from increasing the score line but some fast breaks left the Thurrock goalie exposed.

This week Thurrock Firsts face Stevenage I at home, 2pm start

Mens 2 
Southend II 3 2 Thurrock II 

Off the back of last week’s 11-2 victory, the 2s travelled to fourth placed Southend with high hopes of an upset. Thurrock started strongly but were lucky not to concede in the first five minutes when the home side broke quickly, but failed to get the ball past goalie Keith Mager’s outstretched foot. Southend though did take the lead some 10 minutes later, and took a one goal lead into the break. The blues then doubled their lead early in the second half before Thurrock mounted a comeback. Christian Jenkins, playing against his former club, grabbed a quick brace to give the visitors hope for an unlikely, and to be honest undeserved away win.

Southend’s third goal hurt the 2s more than any other, as the defence were expecting a free hit for a foot which the umpires failed to see, however when nobody closed down the blue’s number 11 he was handed an opportunity he wasn’t going to turn down and restored the advantage. Thurrock could have snatched a point when they were awarded a penalty flick in the last 10 minutes, but the keeper pulled off a great save from Dec Millane’s attempt. The Tees had no arguments at the result, and know that they will need to perform at their best if they are to seriously trouble the teams at the top of Division 5SE.

On Saturday the Seconds are at home to Phoenix II at 3.30 pm

Mens 3 
Upminster VI 2 v 6 Thurrock III 

Thurrock pushed forward from the start of this Division 8SE game but went behind after only five minutes following a breakaway by Upminster. The home side doubled their score soon afterwards from a well-taken short corner which beat keeper Dave Leeks. Thurrock were stirred into action and Matthew Skinner made a run on the left wing before passing to Ricky Smith who hammered the ball into the D for Josh Brady to score from close range. Thurrock reorganised their formation in the second half with Michael Fleming moving into midfield to allow Himesh Patel to push forward. Within five minutes a run up the wing by Dave Everett led to a cross which Jimmy Venus deflected past the keeper to level the score. Upminster worked hard to reclaim the lead but were thwarted by strong defensive work by Declan Salmon and George McAllister. Liam Birch turned the game around by moving the ball up the field and passing to Brady to get his second goal.

Thurrock began to dominate the game and Fleming got onto the score sheet when, with his back to goal, he received a pass from Gary Venus before turning and slipping the ball between keeper and post. Thurrock were playing some excellent hockey and an attack by the home side was intercepted by Leeks who kicked the ball out to Gary Venus who passed for Jimmy Venus to dribble around the keeper and get his second and Thurrock’s fifth goal. In the final minutes, Ricky Smith played a one-two with Himesh Patel before hammering past the keeper to cap an excellent performance by Thurrock.

The Thirds are playing Brentwood Academy at Palmers, at 12.30.


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