Old De Ferrians 2 v 3 Thurrock II
Thurrock’s mens second team jumped three places to 7th in Division 5 with a 3-2 win at Old De Ferrians on Saturday, but things could have been so different. Thurrock started on the back foot, giving too much respect to their rivals, and went in to the break two goals down.
A change in tactics in the second half saw Dave Everett move back into defence, freeing up Mike Hewing and Mike Fallows to strengthen further up the pitch.
This coupled with the introduction of Olu Akinwande on the left hand side gave the Tees a very strong five man midfield.
Ricky Smith, promoted from the 3s, partnered Darren Biggins up front, and was causing more than his share of problems for the opposition defence, but it was Hewing who scored Thurrock’s first, taking advantage of the
slippery pitch to wrong two defenders at a short corner before lifting the ball past the keeper.
The Tees kept the ball in the Old De Ferrians half of the pitch for most of the second half, but the home side came close to making it 3-1 with ten minutes left from a rare short corner.
Thurrock kept applying the pressure though, throwing caution to the wind and pushing defenders Sam Webb and Chris Smith further up the pitch. Another short corner came Hewing’s way, which in all fairness should have been a flick after a defender kept the ball out of the goal with his body.
This time the Thurrock centre midfielder slammed the ball home to draw the scores level.
The Tees would have been very happy with a point after the first half, but they had the momentum, and with one minute left on the clock Ricky Smith once again dribbled into the D, this time wrong footing the Old De Ferrians keeper to send the ball into the roof of the net.
Smith would probably have been voted man of the match anyway after his impressive return to the 2s, but to score a last minute winner away against a side of the calibre of Old De Ferrians sealed it.
The 2s entertain Phoenix this weekend at Palmer’s College, pushing back at 2pm, and will be confident that they can score their fourth victory in a row.