Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Football: Thurrock are comeback kings as they knock Rocks out of Trophy

FA Trophy 2nd Qualifying Round Replay

Thurrock 4 v 3 East Thurrock (AET 2-2 90mins)

Bill Robinson reports from Ship Lane………..

A remarkable game of twists and turns with credit to both sides for a hard fought battle between two local teams determined to win. Perhaps the difference was Mark Stimson’s magic touch with the FA Trophy and his half time team talk the transformed his side in the second half.

The visitors seemed to start the better and had Thurrock pushed back deep into their own half during most of the first forty five minutes. The tie looked to be slipping away from the home side when Sam Collins side footed home his second goal on 38 minutes nearly identical to his first goal in the 15th minute.

Both opening goals started from defensive errors allowing East Thurrock to attack down the right flank and on both occasions the ball found Sam Collins on the edge of the Thurrock penalty box with time and space to neatly place the ball past keeper David Hughes.

Thurrock only created one real chance just before the break when a cross from the right found the head of Charlie Stimson, his header was partially saved by keeper Richard Wray at the foot of the far post, the ball ran loose and Stimson tried to bundle the ball over the line it came out to Luke Wanadio just a yard from goal but his shot went wide and summed up Thurrock’s first forty five minutes.

HT 0-2

Thurrock looked like a different side after the restart and started passing the ball around with more conviction and the game began to look like a Cup tie between to local sides.

Thurrock gained a life line on 58 minutes when the ball was played back to Leroy Griffiths some twenty five yards from goal, with his back to goal he turned and loped a high curling shot that caught the keeper off his line and the ball flew into the back of the net.

Both sides battled on with Thurrock looking the more likely to score and on 71 minutes a goalmouth scramble found Charlie Stimson with the ball, he cleverly twisted around the defenders to find space to fire home the equaliser from close range.

With only 7 minutes remaining Thurrock broke away from defence and straight into attack with the ball finally pushed through to Luke Wanadio, he ran into the box and looked certain to score only for his shot to go high and wide.

In added time East Thurrock sub Hakeem Araba thought he had won the game when he struck a first time volley from around the penalty spot, but keeper Hughes had advanced and spread himself wide make the save.

90mins 2-2

Once again it was East Thurrock that started the better in the first period of extra time. Centre back Mark Gorbell went forward for a corner from the right, the ball came over and it was Gorbell that firmly headed home number three from close range.

David Hughes goal was under pressure again and he had to pull off two fine saves to keep his side in the game.

Now into the second period of extra time and the pendulum once again had swung towards the home side as they hurried along trying to find another equaliser.

Charlie Stimson watched with everyone else as his header flew across the face of the goal and just wide.

Thurrock won a corner with only five minutes left on the clock and again it was a centre back that was about to score, as the ball was driven in the head of Matt Turpin rose to plant the ball unbelievably into the net for the equaliser on 115 mins.

Thurrock kept up the pressure and just as it looked like an attack had broken down Stuart Thurgood won the ball ten yards inside the visitors half he sent over the perfect cross deep towards the far post were once again Matt Turpin was on hand to head home an incredible second and Thurrock’s fourth.

The final whistle sent Thurrock through to the next round with a Home tie to Blue Square North leaders Brackley Town.

Thurrock: David Hughes, Ritchie Jones, Jack Jefferies, Matt Turpin, Ben Walster,, Stuart Thurgood, Jake Woodward, Lewis Perkins, Charlie Stimson, Luke Wanadio, Callum Ibe.

Subs:, Harry Honesty, Wil Viner, Frank Griffin, Leroy Griffiths, Mark Onyemah


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