Thurrock II 2 v 1 Old Southendians III
AFTER two defeats against two of the stronger sides in Division 5, the 2s needed a win against mid table rivals Old Southendians to revive their slim promotion hopes.
The Old Boys were put under pressure from the off, thanks to a high energy display by Jordan Salmon in centre midfield, and Olu Akinwande keeping possession in the away side’s D, forcing the defenders to concede penalty corners.
Against the run of play though, the Southend side went ahead after 20 minutes from a sloppy but hard to defend penalty corner. Thurrock remained stoic, forcing their visitors to defend in numbers, and in the final few minutes of the first half, drew level when Jeff West was given half a chance.
A contentious decision at the start of the second half led to a penalty flick for the Tees, when a penalty corner would probably have been fairer, but against tough competetitors like Old Southendians, you take any advantage which you can, and it was left to 2s top scorer Darren Higgins to lift the ball into the net for Thurrock to take the lead.
The 2s would have expected to extend their lead, but an injury to Salmon meant that they played the last 20 minutes with ten men, and were lucky to hold out for the narrowest of victories against a hard working Old Boys side.
As usual, Old Southendians were gracious in defeat, and will feel hard done by considering some of the decisions which went against them on the day. All involved will be looking forward to the return fixture on the final day of the season.