Mens 2 THURROCK II 1 v 1 PHOENIX II
Phoenix, with seven wins in eight games this season, might have expected an easy three points at Palmer’s on Saturday afternoon, but when the Tees put out their strongest line up they are a match for any side in Division 5SE.
The first half was goalless, but either side could have led at the break. On another day the home forwards Darren Higgins and Dec Millane would have had at least a goal each. With Sam Webb now a regular fixture in the 2s, Mike Hewing has been enjoying his new role in midfield, and it was he who was creating most of the 2s’ opportunities.
Phoenix made the most of a two on one situation early on in the second period to take the lead, but it was Thurrock who controlled the play for the majority of the half. The midfield quartet of Hewing, Jordan Salmon, Dan O’Shaughnessy and Jeff West were winning the ball back every time Phoenix tried to clear their lines, but Ash Snell up front, on for the injured Millane, and Higgins couldn’t find a way past the excellent visiting goalkeeper.
With fifteen minutes left on the clock, Hewing blasted the ball goalwards from a penalty corner, finally beating the goalie and giving Thurrock hope of what would be a deserved victory.
Tees made several more chances, another Hewing strike from a penalty corner beating the keeper but being cleared off the line, and three or four being hit just wide of the post, but couldn’t get a winner. Sam Webb was again voted man of the match, but that could have gone to any one of five or six players, such was the quality of the hockey on display.
Thurrock host Old Southendians this Saturday at 12.30.
THURROCK III 7 – 1 BRENTWOOD ACADEMY
Thurrock began strongly and went into the lead after five minutes when Ricky Smith beat the defender and slipped the ball for Josh Brody to beat the keeper from close range. Thurrock maintained their pressure and Liam Birch collected the ball on the half-way line and ran the length of the pitch before hammering the ball into the net from the edge of the D. Brentwood began to link passes together and threatened the Thurrock defence but some strong tackles by Neil Donovan and George McAllister ensured that keeper Mark Harvey was untroubled. With five minutes to go to half-time, Michael Fleming converted a pass from Jimmy Venus.
Thurrock increased their pressure in the second half when Himesh Patel moved into midfield and Fleming joined the attack. This produced a goal after five minutes when a cross by Gary Venus was nudged over the line by Josh Brody.
Within minutes Fleming seized on a Brentwood clearance and went around the keeper for his second goal. When Patel collected the ball on the half way line, he quickly passed to Birch dribbled through before hitting it out for Brody to get his hat-trick with a reverse stick hit. A rare Brentwood attack produced a free hit on the 25 metre line which was not cleared allowing the winger to ghost in and score inside the far post. This spurred Thurrock back to life and Fleming claimed his hat-trick when he received a pass from Dave Everett and flicked into the net. In the final minutes Jimmy Venus maintained his goal-a- game record when he drew the keeper before hammering the ball into the net.
Next week Thurrock travel to Braintree Phoenix, 1pm start