Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Football: Classy Thurrock keep up promotion chase

Ryman Div One North

Thurrock 3 v 1 Bowers and Pitsea

Report by Mike Tongue

Fleet win Friday night Essex derby

A rare Friday night game saw a bumper crowd turn up at Ship Lane for a thrilling fixture between two playoff contenders in this extremely tight league.

Bowers started brightly moving the ball around quickly without really penetrating Thurrock’s defence but it was Thurrock who dealt two killer blows with their first two attacks in the first five minutes. The first started with a Glenn Poole free kick aimed at Charlie Stimson; the ball is half cleared to Mark Onyemah who saw his shot deflected onto the upright. However Bower’s Luke Wilson slices his clearance into his own net to give the Fleet an early lead.

Two minutes later George Winn sends the ball towards brother Ronnie, Luke Wilson gets his head to the ball but only to Charlie Stimson who sets up Joe Christou on the edge of the area, who then hits a net-busting thunderbolt that gave Rhys Madden no chance.

Bowers respond and David Knight gets a close range effort from a throw but Bobby Mason is well placed to easily catch. Luke Wilson thinks he has made amends when he gets the ball in Thurrock’s net from a free kick that evaded everybody but an offside flag chalks the goal off.

Further chances for Thurrock as Onyemah sees his shot blocked by Martyn Stokes on the six yard box before Glenn Poole sees his twenty five yarder rise inches over the bar. Bowers continued to bring the game to Thurrock but James Goode, Perry Dunn, George Winn and Remi Sutton presented an impenetrable wall and their best chances came from set pieces and ten minutes from half time a free kick knocked back across the area is blazed way over the bar by David Knight.

Thurrock midfield play the ball from left to right and James Goode sends a cross to the far post for Onyemah to glance wide. Onyemah is on hand to bring the ball out from defence and holds it at the edge of Bowers’ box before sliding a pass for Ronnie Winn, Winn’s shot is blocked and falls to Christou who also sees his goalbound strike blocked.

Two changes at half time for Bowers as Loui Hazlewood and Lewis Manor replace Sam Cross and Aaron Russell but the game plan is out of the window five minutes in when Luke Wilson is shown a straight red card after his arm makes contact with Stimson’s face. Christou wins a corner which is flicked on by Ronnie Winn to bounce of Stimson’s chest and go wide before Bowers make their final substitution with Jamie Salmon replacing Billy Jones.

With the extra man Thurrock patiently create several chances in the next ten minutes. Stimson carries the ball down the middle of the pitch and as Rhys Madden advances off his line Stimson attempts to chip him but can’t get the ball down again and it clears the bar. Stimson gets another chance as Thurrock clear their lines and aims for the far corner but just goes wide. Jordan Clark is next to carry the ball to Bowers area and shoots straight at Madden. Poole and Stimson pass the ball around the edge of the area before Christou gets another shot saved.

Bowers have come from behind with ten men before this season and were trying to repeat the feat forcing Mason into two fine saves within a minute. A good advantage is played by the ref as despite a heavy challenge, which subsequently earns Brad Warner a yellow card, Christou releases Ronnie Winn down the right wing. Winn ghosts past Jamie Salmon and cuts inside Martyn Stokes before slotting the ball into the net

Perry Dunn brings a mazy run to a halt before Bowers get another chance to peg one back as George Winn gets tangled up with a Bowers forward and the ref awards a penalty. Brad Warner steps up but blazes way over the bar and out the ground. Michael Pindy and David Cowley have replaced Charlie Stimson and Mark Onyemah and are enjoying the space and time to move the ball around. Pindy is on the end of a long ball out of defence and forces Madden to block with his feet, the ball comes to Cowley who makes a yard and curls the ball for the top corner only to see it crash against both the post and bar and come out again. Clark again runs with the ball from the halfway line to the edge of the area and his lofted shot beats Madden but again the woodwork saves Bowers.

A consolation goal for Bowers with two minutes remaining is scored by Ben Sartain after he gets a sight of goal and threads his shot through the defence and just inside the post.

Thurrock: Bobby Mason, Ronnie Winn, Remi Sutton, George Winn, Mark Onyemah (David Cowley 72), Perry Dunn, Jordan Clark (Richard Halle 85), Glenn Poole, Charlie Stimson (Michael Pindy 76), Joe Christou, James Goode.

Scorers – Mark Onyemah (4′), Joe Christou (6′), Ronnie Winn (74′)

Bowers & Pitsea: Rhys Madden, Lewis Clark, Sam Cross (Loui Hazlewood 46′), Martyn Stokes, Luke Wilson, Ben Sartain, Billy Jones (Jamie Salmon 53′), Aaron Russell (Lewis Manor 46′), David Knight, Brad Warner, Alfie Hinton.

Scorer – Ben Sartain (88′)

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