The Fleet started the game brightly after Striker Charlie Stimson rounded the Romford keeper after just 5 minutes to give Thurrock the lead. Thurrock playing in their all white away strip continued to dominate the opening period before losing experienced defender Rob Gilman to injury around the 20 minute mark. This proved to be a huge loss as Romford picked up their game and equalised on 26 minutes, keeper Reece Ottley could only parry a cross shot directly to a Romford player who had got in front of substitute Hazelwood to level. Things got worse for Thurrock just 2 minutes later when the Thurrock defence hesitated and allowed a Romford cross to zip across the area for Richardson to latch on and give them a 2-1 lead and that’s how it remained at half time.Second half and Thurrock came out with more purpose and almost equalised on 48 mins when Stimsons shot was parried by the Romford keeper and from the resulting corner Ben Smith hit the crossbar with real force from just outside the area. You could tell it was going to be one of those days for The Fleet when on 52 minutes Joel Nouble broke clear and his cross shot beat the keeper but hit the post.It was Romford who edged further in front though on 70 mins after a nudge in the back conceeded a penalty which Paul Clayton duly dispatched for 3-1 and that’s how it ended.
It was a disappointing performance and afternoon for Thurrock beaten by tennants Romford and they will need to pick themselves up for Saturdays FA Cup encounter against Felixstowe & Walton United.
Team: Ottley, Blackwood, Rumens, Gilman, L Clark, Smith, Warner, Spence, Perkins, Stimson, Nouble
Subs: Hazlewood (Gilman), Ibe (Stimson), J Clark