Thurrock Mens 1s 2 vs 9 Plashet 1s
A frustrating day for a young and improving Thurrock side as they suffered another home defeat at the hands of Plashet.
Thurrock got off to a poor start with Plashet scoring inside the first minute. Thurrock responded well to the setback, equalising soon after through Jay Lambs first goal of the season following a good passage of play from the home side. Plashet continued to push forwards, forcing a series of impressive saves from Thurrock keeper Dave Leeks. Thurrock defended resiliently but were eventually broken when Plashet scored from 2 short corners in quick succession. This would be the story of the game with Thurrock defending well but Plashet winning multiple short corners from playing against feet in the box. Despite this, Thurrock were a constant threat on the counter attack throughout the first half and scored a second shortly before half time, the returning Billy Hicks opening his account for the season with a tidy finish to a quick Thurrock break, cutting the deficit to 2-3 at half time.
Thurrock started the second half brightly, putting pressure on Plashet from the off and creating a few half chances which they were unable to convert. Unfortunately the experience of Plashet soon showed as they cut through Thurrock to bring the score line to 4-2. Thurrock heads didn’t drop as the team continued to press forward and create chances. Thurrock were on the front foot as a Plashet midfielder saw green after a totting up offence of continuous stick tackles. This period of dominance did not last long as Plashet continued to break and force another series of saves from obvious man of the match Leeks, the best being a sharp stop with the stick low to his right from a short corner.
The more experienced Plashet soon made their chances count, scoring twice more in a short period. Thurrock continued to show plenty of fight and spirit and despite the score line were well in the game for large periods and were a constant threat on the counter attack. Each time Thurrock breached the Plashet defence they were unfortunate to find the Plashet keeper in fine form and were unable to convert their chances.
The game soon took a turn for the worse when Thurrock skipper Ricky Smith and Billy Hicks were green carded along with a Plashet player, all 3 for questioning odd decisions from both umpires within 30 seconds of each other. With 9 vs 10 things went downhill for Thurrock conceding another 2 goals within 5 minutes, with Plashet scoring their 9th goal 3 minutes before full time.
Overall a very good team performance from a young 1s team who were unlucky in patches and found themselves punished at important times by a more experienced side – the story of their season so far.
Despite the score line there were plenty of positives for the Ts, a good team performance overall as they look to rebuild the club after losing 3 teams in the last few years. Under the guidance of new Coach Mark the team look to be improving week on week and there is a much better atmosphere and team spirit around the club than there has been in the past few seasons. This as well as some experienced players returning to the club gives the squad a good blend of youth and experience. If Thurrock continue to play and develop as they are they will surely string a few good results together sooner rather than later. Thurrock is beginning to look a good place to play hockey. Man of the match: Dave Leeks.