REDBRIDGE AND ILFORD 3rd 2 v 4 THURROCK 3rd
Thurrock dominated this Division 7SE mid-table clash and were worthy winners. From the first whistle Thurrock attacked with Matthew Fleming linking with Ricky Smith to force the Redbridge keeper into some last-ditch saves.
After 10 minutes a pass by Smith was hammered into the net by Fleming. Five minutes later a shot by Smith was saved but Josh Bridges seized upon the rebound and dribbled around the keeper before forcing the ball over the line.
A rare Redbridge attack was quickly extinguished by Michael Fleming who quickly propelled the ball up the field for Lawrence Jackson to dribble into the D before delivering an inch-prefect pass for Matthew Fleming to beat the keeper for Thurrock’s second goal. Thurrock were making all the play and only some acrobatic saves by the keeper prevented further score.
With two minutes of the half left Thurrock were caught out by breakaway down the left which led to a shot that went just beyond the diving Dave Leeks and into the net. A pair of tactical substitutions at half time made Redbridge much stronger in midfield and it was Thurrock who had to endure pressure with Leeks making several vital saves.
After 10 minutes Redbridge got their second goal from a well-taken short corner. Midway through the second half Thurrock were reduced to 10 men when Michael Fleming received a yellow card for dissent and the home side took advantage by attacking strongly. Thurrock were lucky not to concede the equaliser when Redbridge scored from a short corner only to see the goal disallowed by the sharp-eyed umpire.
When Thurrock were back to full strength they resumed their dominance and Matthew Fleming got his hat trick when he collected a pass from Mat. Skinner and dribbled through the defence before beating the keeper from close range.
The home side retreated into their own half, skilfully passing the ball around to deny Thurrock possession but posing little threat for the remainder of the game.