Ryman Div One North
Thurrock 0 v 1 Brightlingsea Regent
Report by Mike Tongue
An even, tough game was anticipated and there was no disappointment with just the single goal separating the sides.
Thurrock made a bright start, Hussain Jaffa collects the ball from Perry Dunn making his debut start and carries it to Brightlingsea’s box, a one-two with Mark Onyemah gives space for a cross which is blocked and cleared. Joe Christou has the ball in midfield and lays out to Reece Morgan to find a good ball into the box, it’s initially cleared away before coming back to Onyemah who finds a defence splitting pass into Sutton’s path in the box, a strong shot is equalled by Dan Beeson’s save. Bobby Mason pings a free kick forwards for Jaffa to flick on, the ball is cleared to David Cowley who lobs the ball over the bar.
Brightlingsea win a corner which strikes the near post and rebounds out, Reece Morgan is on it and racing away before being fouled on the halfway line. Charlie Stimson battles to win the ball and taps through to Onyemah, Onyemah demonstrates his strength and gets into the area and shoots low but again Beeson gets in the way to keep things level.
Another Brightlinsea foray forwards results in Mason taking an clean catch and sending a direct ball downfield for Stimson who holds off a defender and gets a shot away but with the ball bobbling he can’t get it on target. Thurrock continue to press high up the pitch allowing Brightlingsea to break on a counter attack and get in a low cross met in the six yard box drawing an amazing reaction save at point blank range from Mason. It’s end to end now and Jaffa is again advanced down the left wing, his pass is intercepted and Brightlingsea break away down their left wing until Dunn wins the ball.
With just under ten minutes remaining in the half the winning goal is scored, the attack is again down the left wing and crossed to the far post, Mason blocks the first header but cannot stop the rebound from bouncing off his body and into the net.
In the last minute of added time Thurrock almost equalise. A Glenn Poole free kick twenty yards out holds up in the wind and finds Jaffa in space but his side footed effort is wide of the post.
Brightlingsea break down the right wing from the restart but a combination of Dunn and Mason defuse the danger before Poole again finds Jaffa from a free kick, the slightest of touches is not enough to confound Beeson who takes an easy catch. As in the first half play swings end to end as both sides get the ball downfield directly trying to cut out the midfield. Fifteen minutes in sees Sutton, Stimson, Onyemah and Cowley display close control and intricate passing before the final shot is wide of goal. Another half chance comes and goes as Christou’s throw bounces in the area and Brightlingsea scramble the ball out for a corner.
Michael Pindy comes on for Hussain Jaffa and is soon in action bringing the ball in from the wing and across the box before finding Stimson who in turn plays it back to Cowley, Cowley makes room for a cross back to Stimson whose glancing header is just wide. Sutton wins a throw inside Brightlingsea’s half and as it gets to Christou he is floored by a late tackle. Cowley takes the kick and picks out Christou who can’t get his header beyond Beeson’s reach.
With three minutes remaining Ronnie Winn is shown a second yellow card but Thurrock’s heads don’t drop as they redouble efforts. Christou wins the ball and finds Morgan who drills the ball into the area but too fierce for Onyemah. The game enters the final minute and Mason is up for a free kick, Sutton finds Christou who wins a corner. Cowley swings the ball out and it is cleared back to him, this time he goes to the far post and finds Mason who chips the ball towards the penalty spot where Beeson is first to the ball.
A great display by two teams wanting to play football but the points go to Brightlingsea on this occasion.
Thurrock: Bobby Mason, Reece Morgan, Remi Sutton, Perry Dunn, Mark Onyemah, Hussain Jaffa (Michael Pindy 68), Joe Christou, Glenn Poole (Ronnie Winn 61), Charlie Stimson, George Winn, David Cowley
Brightlingsea Regent: Dan Beeson, Ricky Griggs, Russell Malton, Connor Witherspoon, Josh Gould, Matt Cripps, Harry McDonald (Keiron Baker 80), Jake Turner, Robbie Rees, Phil Kelly (Shamido Pedulu 84), Aaron Condon (George Doyle 89)
Scorer – Bobby Mason (Own Goal 39′)