Ryman Div One North Play Off Semi Final
Thurrock 0 v 2 AFC Hornchurch
IF THERE was ever a game in which a team simply did not turn up then this was it as Thurrock lost 2-0 in the play off semi final at Ship Lane.
It was a cagey start from both teams but on the balance of things, Hornchurch looked more confident and when Abs Thompson skipped past the Thurrock players, you knew that Thurrock had to be on their guard.
George Purcell also looked in fine form as he moved about in the hole.
And it was Purcell who opened the scoring in the 11th minute when they were awarded a penalty after Lewis Clark clumsily handled the ball in the area.
Thurrock fought back and started to dominate possession with a series of penetrating attacks. They went close a couple of times as they pressed hard.
Thurrock thought they had a goal when a shot bounced from the crossbar and what looked like over the line but the referee did not see it that way.
Yes, that could have changed the game but as we were about to see, there really was only one team in it.
Hornchurch continued to look dangerous and with their movement they looked like they had more goals in them.
Junior Luke went close again.followed by a free header for David Knight it started to look like Thurrock needed a plan B.
The game opened up and Thurrock had a half chance on the break but a stray pass meant it was all in vain.
Hornchurch made it 2-0 in the 37th minute with a wonderful individual goal as Junior Luke danced through the defence and stroked into the net.
With the rain going down, Thurrock came out in the second half determined to salvage their season.
A nasty tackle saw sub James Goode go in the book.
David Cowley started to control matters as they looked to find a way in.
But Thurrock could not find a way in. In fact they could not find the target. There were too many unforced errors and too many shots off beam.
In the 83rd minute a neat passage of play saw the ball come to Charlie Stimson but even at three yards out, he managed to hit it over.
For both Stimsons and for Thurrock it was one of those nights as they face another season in the Ryman Div One North.
The set up at Thurrock deserves so much better but it is hard league to get out of.
Hornchurch will go into the Ryman Div. One North final full of confidence against Harlow, i what should be a cracking final.
Thurrock: Madden R, Morgan R, Clark L, Baker J, Sutton R, Toner M (Goode J 45),, Clark J (Gleed R 85) Spence L, Wall R, Francis D (Stimson C 45), Cowley D.
Subs not used: Wheatley C, Olafunmishe M,
AFC Hornchurch: Mott S, Eyong T, Bentley A, Styles E, Cooper N, Collis D, Thompson A (Showman J 80), Symons N, Knight D ( Freeman R 86), Purcell G, Luke J.
Subs not used: McKenzie L, May J,, Chafer C.