Friday, June 21, 2024

Football: Thurrock beat league leaders

Ryman Div One North

Brightlingsea Regent 0 v 1 Thurrock

Report by Mike Tongue

Fleet win top of table clash.

Top of the table clashes are always anticipated to be thrillers and quite often disappoint, but not this game. Thurrock and Brightlingsea exchanged early chances as a thirty yard effort from Brightlingsea is high and wide of Bobby Mason’s goal. Thurrock counter with Bobby Mason pinging in a free kick that’s half cleared to Ronnie Winn, but his effort is blocked. Back come Brightlingsea driving in from the right wing only to slice wide. David Cowley works his way down the left wing and gets the ball into the box but no-one is there to get on the end of it.

Thurrock build a solid half chance from the back as George Winn plays the ball down the wing for brother Ronnie who wins a corner as his cross is blocked. Glenn Poole takes and finds Richard Halle to flick on for David Cowley who slips just as he steadies to shoot from the penalty spot and the moment is gone. Charlie Stimson, Ronnie Winn and Remi Sutton interplay the ball out near the corner flag before Sutton gets space for a cross but it goes behind the line.

Brightlingsea unleash their long throw specialist and it nearly pays immediate dividends as Richard Halle diverts the ball towards his own goal but the vigilant Bobby Mason pushes it over the bar. With seven minutes of the half remaining Thurrock get their goal, an outrageous pass with the outside of his foot from Cowley to find Stimson in the area, Stimson finds his own sublime touch out to Sutton who sends a cross beyond the far post for Perry Dunn to volley home from a tight angle between Sam Cowler and the post.

As the half draws to a close Brightlingsea have one further effort from range that leaves Mason untroubled before Sutton finds another long cross from the left wing but Ronnie Winn is beaten to the header.

The second half starts as cagily as the first with few chances of note until twelve minutes in; a wayward pass across Thurrock’s back line is cut out and Mason is one-on-one but he is swiftly out to the edge of the area and making himself big and parries away the shot. The rebound is fired in only to be cleared off the line before being punted up the pitch and out of danger.

David Cowley wins a free kick out wide of the box which he takes himself and Brightlingsea manage to hustle out for a corner which they clear safely away. The game drifts into the final quarter and Brightlingsea step up the pressure forcing Thurrock very deep and almost totally defensive; but no matter what Brightlingsea throw at them Thurrock have the answer and the team work together to maintain their lead.

Thurrock still manage to keep Cowler on his toes though, Jordan Clark gets the ball up the park to Charlie Stimson who holds the ball up before feeding out to debutant Jack Barham to strike on target, forcing Cowler low to his left to save. Mason tips a point-blank header onto the bar before the corner is cleared deep into Brightlingsea territory with Barham dispossessing Regent’s full back and seeing Cowler off his line, snaps a lob goalwards but it drifts a yard or so wide. An extremely bizarre incident with five minutes remaining as Regent skipper Matt Cripps tries to catch the ball as it goes out of play but he is still well inside the field of play, the ball comes to Stimson in plenty of space, expecting a whistle for the handball or even an offside flag, Stimson hesitates before realising that the ref is allowing play to continue, he attempts unsuccessfully to lob Cowler and several minutes later when the ball next goes dead Cripps is booked for deliberate handball.

For the final five minutes of regular time and some seven minutes added time Brightlingsea show why they are top of the table as they swarm repeatedly and relentlessly but Thurrock keep their shape and discipline and see the game out for an incredible and important win.

Brightlingsea Regent: Sam Cowler, Pip Boyland, Russell Malton, Connor Witherspoon, Josh Gould (Billy Hunt 58′), Matt Cripps, Connor Hogan (Ricky Griggs 57′), Jake Turner, Tom Richardson, Phil Kelly, Robbie Rees (Aaron Condon 79′).

Thurrock: Bobby Mason, George Winn, Remi Sutton, Richard Halle, Ronnie Winn, (Jack Barham 73′), Perry Dunn, Jordan Clark, Glenn Poole (James Goode 92′), Charlie Stimson, Joe Christou, David Cowley (Mark Onyemah 90′)
Scorer – Perry Dunn (38′)

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