Ryman Div One North
Phoenix Sports 1 v 1 Thurrock
Report by Mike Tongue
Thurrock extend unbeaten run away from home
An early problem presented itself to Phoenix Sports when captain Russell Bedford was unable to start the game and Zac Bryon has to replace him. It was Thurrock who started brightest as Mark Onyemah set up Ronnie Winn who sees his shot blocked by Steve Phillips’ feet. Onyemah gets the rebound and plays it out to Remi Sutton who finds a sublime chip to the far post but Junior Baker is alive to the danger and heads away for a corner. Glenn Poole swings the ball into the area and Richard Halle heads downward, Charlie Stimson gets a toe to the ball but again Phillips is positioned to save.
A few minutes later and Onyemah plays back to Jordan Clark who finds Reece Morgan. Morgan passes into the box where both Charlie Stimson and Mark Onyemah step over the ball and let it run through to Ronnie Winn. Winn lays it back to Poole who hits a fine effort from twenty five yards but again claimed by Phillips. Fifteen minutes in and Thurrock get a free kick a yard outside the box, Poole taps the ball to Jordan Clark who takes a pace to his right before shooting but the wall does its job and while Onyemah pounces on the rebound, his shot is blocked away for a corner. Clark sends the corner long to Perry Dunn, who weighed his options before setting up Winn, who strikes over the bar.
Ronnie Winn intercepts in the middle of the park and gives the ball to Remi Sutton who taps to Stimson who turns his defender and strikes the side netting. Moments later and again it is Phillips saving with his legs, this time from Ronnie Winn. Halfway through the half and against the run of play Phoenix take the lead. A speculative ball down the left wing see Bobby Mason come outside the right hand side of his box to clear, the ball strikes a Phoenix forward’s leg which takes the pace off the ball and it falls to the feet of Tyrus Gordon-Young who is some thirty five yards out on the touchline but pings the ball towards the empty net and despite Perry Dunn, Richard Halle and Jordan Clark sprinting back they are unable to keep the ball out of the net.
Thurrock don’t panic and a period of patient build up play eventually sees Glenn Poole put a ball towards Onyemah whose header is straight at Phillips. Phoenix respond with a break down the left wing culminating with a cross across Thurrock’s box with no-one in position to take advantage. Richard Halle gets Thurrock forwards again looking for a last minute equaliser to go in level but ultimately Sutton’s shot is deflected for an easy catch for Phillips.
Thurrock come out for the second half looking for a quick response. Ronnie Winn jinks his way into the area, he puts in a ball to the far post for Reece Morgan who is adjudged to have committed a foul. Glenn Poole finds Remi Sutton out on the left wing, Sutton advances and puts a cross onto Charlie Stimson’s head which is glanced just wide of the far post. Ronnie Winn dribbles out of his own half down the middle of the pitch and with options left and right he wrong foots the defence by playing directly forwards for Mark Onyemah to run onto but he was then ruled offside. Perry Dunn sends a long ball out of defence for Onyemah to chase down and pull back from the bye-line to Stimson. Onyemah gets into the area for a return pass and is tripped and the referee awarded a penalty. Jordan Clark stepped forward and confidently placed his sixth penalty of the season to level the scores.
Bobby Mason finds a fantastic reaction save as a Phoenix free kick bounces over everybody’s head and is heading just inside his post but an agile change of direction allows him to palm the ball away and Thurrock move forwards again, a cross field pass to Sutton on the edge of the area but he doesn’t get a clean connection with the ball and Phillips gathers easily. Again Thurrock press and Stimson finds Morgan on the right this time, his initial shot is blocked and the ball is finally scrambled behind for a corner. Phoenix break and have an extra man but it is George Winn rushing across from left to right who cleans up. Three minutes later it’s déjà vu as Phoenix again break at speed from a Thurrock corner, Mason is one-on-one and gets strong finger tips to the ball to push it onto the upright and out for a corner.
Thurrock continue to build patiently in the midfield passing the ball from wing to wing until Sutton gets sight of goal but once more Phillips is well positioned to thwart the effort. Winn, Onyemah and Stimson also probe for an opening in front of the back four before playing back to Clark who is inches wide with a fierce shot.
Phoenix grow into the final fifteen minutes and possession is more even with both sides swapping half chances without finding the net. In the end it was another point away from home for Thurrock against a play-off hopeful and the unbeaten run that the Fleet are currently on continues.
The result leaves Thurrock in second place but now six points behind the leaders Maldon and Tiptree.
They return to league action against Heybridge Swifts at home.
Thurrock: Bobby Mason, Reece Morgan, Remi Sutton, Richard Halle, Mark Onyemah (Harry Cook 79), Perry Dunn, Jordan Clark, Glenn Poole, Charlie Stimson, George Winn, Ronnie Winn
Scorer – Jordan Clark (55′)
Phoenix Sports: Steve Phillips, Ryan Andrews, Ashley Probets, Russell Bedford, Aaron Sekhon, Junior Baker, Jack Hopkins, Tyrus Gordon-Young (Christie Patterson 44), Michael Power, Theo Fairweather-Johnson (Joshua Jackson 85) – (Jordan Campbell 90), Dajon Golding
Scorer – Tyrus Gordon-Young (22′)