Thursday, December 7, 2023

Football: Thurrock maintain their place in play-offs

Ryman Div One North

Thurrock 1 v 0 Waltham Abbey

Report by Mike Tongue

Not a pretty game but Thurrock take the points

It was a very faltering, halting, stumbling game where neither team was able to really get into a rhythm and grab the game by the scruff of the neck. Thurrock had control of the ball for the majority of the game and did just enough to take the points but Waltham Abbey had a couple of chances to grab a goal of their own.

Thurrock continued their recent habit of creating an early chance and in the second minute Charlie Stimson collected a throw in and back-heeled the ball to Remi Sutton who tried to thread the ball through to Mark Onyemah but Lewis Lockyer is smartly off his line to deny the striker. Thurrock are composed and patient as they build the next chance for Onyemah who sees his shot deflected. Perry Dunn is also alert and smartly forwards to cut out a direct ball from Abbey’s defence. Ever present Joe Christou battles his way through the middle of the field before picking a pass to Onyemah who is dispossessed but Christou gets the second ball and feeds Reece Morgan on the right wing but his cross is cut out.

David Cowley, Joe Christou, Charlie Stimson, Mark Onyemah and Remi Sutton keep the ball moving around between them before Onyemah is fouled at the edge of the area. Cowley gets the ball up and over the wall drawing a fine save from Lockyer down low to his right to push the ball wide. Sutton puts in the tackle to stop Abbey in their tracks and the back line of George Winn, Richard Halle and Perry Dunn move the ball across to the other wing and work the ball to Onyemah and onto Sutton who has worked forwards, Sutton puts the ball in the channel for Stimson and Lockyer requires two attempts before he can grab the ball.

An underhit back pass gives Abbey the ball high up the pitch, it’s pulled back but the final shot is well wide of the post and Bobby Mason is untroubled. Christou again provides the momentum forwards again releasing Morgan, the ball whizzes across the area just too far ahead of Onyemah.

The second half mimics the first as again within two minutes James Goode and Joe Christou are impenetrable and feed Sutton to carry the ball forwards and lash a shot wide. Moments later Waltham Abbey clear a Thurrock free kick as far as George Winn who delivers straight into Onyemah’s feet before he pulls the ball back for Christou to help onto Stimson who heads wide. Waltham Abbey get forwards and the ball pings dangerously around the area before going behind for a goal kick.

Ten minutes into the half and Mark Stimson rings the changes bringing on Michael Pindy for George Winn and reorganising into an orthodox back four. Dunn and Halle tidy up an Abbey half chance before Morgan’s throw to Pindy is then played between Stimson and Cowley who finds Christou at the far post but the ref blows for an infringement. Half way through and it’s a bit to and fro as Abbey clear after good interaction from Cowley and Stimson and then Abbey get a good ball into the area from the right wing which is safely dealt with.

Mark Stimson switches things up again bringing on Harry Cook for James Goode and the pressure higher up the pitch draws a free kick twenty five yards out. Cowley finds Halle who is too strong and heads back across the box for Onyemah to pounce and strike home.
Three minutes later and an outstanding chance to put the game out of sight. The ball is pinged into Cook who heads the ball over the keeper into space but a glove to his face stops him dead in his tracks. The penalty is awarded and Lockyer can be thankful that the card was yellow not red. Onyemah steps up and usually so deadly and reliable from the spot puts the ball over the bar.

Thurrock continue to seek the second goal as Reece Morgan drives forwards and unleashes a shot which Lockyer can only push out to Onyemah, his shot is deflected for a corner. Pindy chases down a ball along the wing and as Macauley Jones tries to shield the ball out of play but Pindy nicks the ball of him only to see his square ball cut out. Cowley takes a short corner to Stimson, receives the ball back and finds Cook who is desperately unlucky to see his header hit the back of his marker’s head.

The final few minutes play out without incident and Thurrock notch up their second 1-0 win for the week and move into fourth place.

The result means that Thurrock are in fourth place and four points off the top.

They return to league action on Tuesday night at home to VCD Athletic.
Thurrock : Bobby Mason, Reece Morgan, Remi Sutton, Richard Halle, Mark Onyemah, Perry Dunn, Joe Christou, James Goode (Harry Cook 68), Charlie Stimson (Glenn Poole 89), George Winn (Michael Pindy 55), David Cowley
Scorer – Mark Onyemah (70′)

Waltham Abbey: Lewis Lockyer, Ben Glasgow, Macauley Joynes, Jack Daveney, Spencer Harrison (Warren Thomas 30), Sam Robbins, Gavin Suddell (Gregory Moorse 75), Billy Holland, Greg Pearson, Daniel Rimmell, Sam West


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