Thurrock 3rds 5 v 4 Wapping 7ths
WAPPING started strongly and went into the lead after 10 minutes when a shot, which was saved by Andy Gaut, rebounded for the inrushing attacker to push the ball over the line. Thurrock began to link passes together and Michael Fleming was unlucky to shoot inches wide from a pass by Ricky Smith however, it was the visitors who played the better hockey and added a second from a short corner.
Midway through the half a mis-hit clearance by a Thurrock defender was cut out by a Wapping player who drove into the D before unleashing a shot which the diving Gaut was unable to reach. A break by Lawrence Jackson on the right led to a cross into the area which deflected off a defender’s stick for Michael Fleming to slot the ball between keeper and post.
In the final minute of the half Wapping added a fourth goal from a well-taken short corner. A change of formation at half time by Thurrock, with Lawrence Jackson moving into a defensive midfield position, helped to nullify the Wapping attack and allowed Thurrock to move the ball around and dominate the middle of the pitch. Within five minutes, a pass by Mat Skinner allowed Dave Leeks to run at the keeper before slipping the ball to Fleming who made no mistake with his shot into the net.
Thurrock were boosted by the goal and forced Wapping into their own area. Fleming collected a pass from Jo Harvey on the right and hammered the ball into the D which rebounded off a defender’s stick and over the line for an own goal.
Thurrock had the upper hand and played excellent hockey leaving Wapping chasing shadows. A Thurrock pass was intercepted by Wapping and Ethan Pinion had to make a timely tackle to dispossess the attacker and coolly pass inside for Neil Donovan to clear up the field. The clearance was collected by Skinner who played a one-two with Tom Madden to beat the defender before passing to Dave Leeks who hammered past the keeper for the equaliser.
As Wapping sensed danger they attacked in numbers forcing Thurrock to defend in numbers to protect Gaut. With two minutes to go, a clearance from Thurrock defence was collected by Madden who drove into the D before passing for Fleming to get his hat-trick and give Thurrock their first win for five weeks