Saturday, June 15, 2024

Hockey: Thurrock men overwhelm Brentwood

Thurrock Hockey

Thurrock Mens 1s 6 vs 1 Brentwood 4s 1

AFTER several weeks of hard work during training sessions and unluckily being drawn against some very difficult sides in the opening few games of the season, Thurrock were determined and focused to collect the 3 points against a Brentwood team who equally needed the three points. Prior to the game the feeling within the changing rooms was one of eagerness to get out on the pitch and give one hundred percent, not one player felt as if they could not go out and beat their opponent. Thurrock were also hoping their late new signing ‘Squibby’ would play a key role straight away in his first game.

Straight from the first half push back, the “T’s” were pressuring Brentwood and making life very difficult for them, Thurrock’s four man midfield was vital in the early minutes of the game in setting the tempo. Had it not been for a fantastic sliding tackle effort from Brentwood’s keeper Thurrock would’ve have taken an early lead as the ball broke through and speedy Dudley McNamara had left the defence far behind him.

Thurrock’s pestering of the Brentwood defence and high intensity play would eventually pay off, their new signing broke into the oppositions “D” and slammed home a perfectly aimed reverse shot into the keepers far corner. With another 5 minutes gone Thurrock were now coming under pressure from Brentwood who cleverly passed their way into the area to finish off their first chance of the game making it 1-1. However Thurrock did not let their heads drop as they bounced back up the opposite end of the pitch with clear intent to push the Brentwood backline, all this pressure seemed too much for Brentwood as they conceded a short corner which was calmly tucked away by Thurrock’s Tony Cashman.

After this goal Thurrock kept the gas on and collected their third goal very quickly after through a wonderful counter attack, striker Liam Birch accurately squaring it to Thurrock’s young winger Dudley McNamara who provided an inch perfect finish into the top left hand corner to further Thurrock’s lead. Seeing that Brentwood’s heads had dropped the “T’s” immediately pounced through the same man who assisted the third goal Liam Birch, who slickly weaved his way through two defenders and arrowed a reverse hit past the Brentwood keeper just before the half time whistle.

After the break Thurrock knew their day was far from over and defended expertly against the Brentwood attackers, young Max Blake was not allowing anyone past him as he tackled player after player. Another lapse in concentration by the Brentwood men allowed Thurrock to surge forward and capitalise through the new boy in the team to bring his tally up to two and Thurrock’s up to five. At this point Brentwood just wanted the nightmare to be over and to finish them off Thurrock added a sixth via a wonderful reverse from Liam Birch.

Thurrock will now happily look forward to an away trip next week against Old Southendians and hope that this is the start of a good patch of form to help them with the early weeks of the season. Come on you “T’s”!


Thurrock played a strong Loughton side and were under pressure from the start and conceded a string of short corners which eventually produced a goal. Thurrock battled back and Liam Birch collected a pass from Regan Harvey and drove into the area before shooting just wide. Academy resumed their dominance and, when a shot struck a defender’s foot on the line, were awarded a penalty flick. However keeper Oli Cochrane made an excellent save to deny them. Soon afterwards the home side doubled their lead from a short corner. An attack by Academy was cut out by Aaron Saunders and the ball moved quickly up the pitch to Birch who skilfully drew the keeper before putting the ball into the net.

Thurrock worked hard and exerted pressure upon the home defence but a breakaway led to Cochrane facing three attackers and, although he saved the initial shot, the ball fell kindly to produce Loughtonians third goal just before half time.

After the break, the home side continued to dominate the game and, despite some strong defending, conceded two goals. Thurrock fought hard and put together a string of passes to open up the Academy defence and earn a series of short corners which eventually bore fruit when Tony Cashman slipped the ball inside the post. When the home side resumed their attack Thurrock held firm with Saunders making some strong challenges and clearances. An Academy attack appeared to be covered and, when the ball was kicked into the goal by a forward, Thurrock anticipated a hit out. However the umpire ignored the protests and awarded the goal. An accidental collision by a Thurrock defender was judged deliberate, and the player given a card. Academy exploited the reduction in Thurrock’s rearguard to add another goal just before full time.

Thurrock Ladies 1s 3 vs Basildon 2s 1

A great performance by Thurrock throughout the whole game even with the changing weather conditions. Some great play lead to goals being scored by Charlene Curtis, Louise Parrott and Katie Jacks with the game ending 3-1 to Thurrock. Player of the match: Louise Parrott. Thurrock play Chelmsford at Palmers next week, 2pm pushback.

Thurrock Ladies 3s 0 vs Braintree 2s 6

Yet another new look team 3 took to the field at Braintree on Saturday. Ts started well and held out wave after wave of attack but gave away several short corners and a very well drilled Braintree side took advantage of the opportunities. Ts were only 2-0 down at halftime and were still hopeful of getting something from the game and but as the match continued Braintree’s experience showed and they scored when the gaps opened up. Ts battled the whole game and didn’t give up. Final score 6-0.


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