Hockey: Four for thirds in great away win

SOUTHEND III 3 – 4 THURROCK III

Thurrock faced a strong Southend team who were determined to avenge their 4-0 defeat at Palmers earlier in the season. The Thurrock defence were under heavy pressure from the start but held strong until midway through the half when a defensive mix-up allowed the speedy attacker to score from close range.

Soon after Southend added a second from a short corner. Thurrock battled but failed to penetrate a solid defence in which the keeper made some telling saves. In the second half Thurrock reorganised their formation to strengthen their midfield and it quickly provided results when a through ball from Himesh Patel allowed Michael Fleming to drive into the D and flick past the keeper.

Within minutes a shot by Fleming was saved by the keeper but Dave Everett seized on the rebound to level the score. Southend worked hard and drove forward in numbers to reclaim the lead however strong tackling by Declan Salmon backed up by a string of outstanding saves by Danny Hick kept them out. A hit out by Salmon was quickly moved up the field by Josh Brody who then passed to Jimmy Venus whose dribbled through the defence before hitting a shot from the edge of the area which left the keeper rooted to the spot.

Buoyed by this lead Thurrock drove forward with Ricky Smith weaving through the Southend defence before slipping the ball to the right allowing Fleming to get his second goal. Southend fought back and forced Thurrock to make a series of desperate clearances. Eventually a rising reverse stick shot from the edge of the area flew into the top of the net past the diving Hick’s stick. Southend continued to pile on the pressure but Thurrock were in no mood to be beaten and held firm to claim the points.

This Saturday the Thirds are home to Saffron Walden 6 at 2 pm

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