Saturday, February 24, 2024

Hockey: Mixed results for Thurrock teams


Thurrock struggled to raise a side but with the assistance of Michael Fleming who had umpired two earlier games plus Dave Leeks and Derek Staton who had both umpired earlier, and Joshua Lamb home for the weekend from Edinburgh University, they managed to have nine players for this Division 8SE game. Saffron Walden pushed forward from the start and went into the lead after only five minutes . A few minutes later they added a second from a well-practiced short corner routine. Thurrock gradually got into the game and string passes together with Ricky Smith making a series of penetrating runs . After 20 minutes their efforts bore fruit when Dave Leeks having made a run from defence, forced the ball over the line. Thurrock maintained their effort and Smith was unlucky to see his shot go inches wide with the keeper wrong footed. In the last minute of the first half, a breakaway led to Saffron Walden being 3-1 up.

Saffron Walden started the second half strongly and added to their score after only two minutes. Thurrock were stirred into action and pushed forward with Ben Clark being tenacious in midfield fighting for every ball and providing ammunition for forwards Michael Fleming and Henry Hudson to work the opposition defence and forcing the keeper into a string of saves. As the game went on, Thurrock’s lack of numbers began to tell and they faced heavy pressure which eventually produced a fifth goal for Saffron Walden. Thurrock refused to lie down and continued to battle with man of the match Leeks cutting out several potential dangerous moves. In the last minute a clearance was quickly moved up the field by Fleming and although a shot by Smith was intercepted, Jake Lamb dispossessed the defender and smashed the ball into the net to give Thurrock reward for their outstanding performance.


Thurrock maintained their winning start to the season with a 6-0 victory over Brentwood. Tees began the match on the front foot and quickly took the lead through Alison Bonner. Lou Pike then made it 2-0 shortly after with a strike from a penalty corner. Despite numerous Thurrock attacks during the first half, it took until the final minute for Fay Tuffee to rob the Brentwood defender of the ball and run clean through to calmly slot the ball home for a 3-0 half time lead. Brentwood responded strongly in the second half, but as with last week the Thurrock defence of Kelly Bentley, Katy Martin, Laura James and Natalie Kerin stood firm. Tees continued to press for further goals and Sarah Judd was unfortunate to have a goal disallowed from a penalty corner. With Cheryl Broadbent and Lisa Simmonds keeping the midfield tight, it allowed Jade Franklin, Emily Crown, Charlene Curtis and the other attacking players licence to continue to push forward. A well taken long corner from Tuffee and an accurate pass to Bonner resulted in a great reverse stick finish for her second goal of the game. Tuffee and Pike then each scored their second goals from further penalty corners. The 6-0 win means that Thurrock top the fledgling table, but face a stern test next week away at Chelmsford, who have also won both their first two games convincingly.


Thurrock ladies 3s were up against the newly formed but obviously experienced London Royals on Saturday afternoon. Thurrock started very brightly and the play was end to end with both teams attacking the others D. London Royals drew from their experience and after a few well-crafted attacks, they finally broke the deadlock. 3s did not let this get them down and they pushed up from the restart and managed to get the ball into the goal but, after some discussion between the 2 umpires, the goal was disallowed. Thurrock were unable to convert the penalty corner they were awarded into an equalising goal.

After the break London Royals really started to turn the screw and Thurrock found they were defending wave after wave of attack and despite some superhuman effort from everyone, especially Sally Taylor, to keep them out, the goals started to rack up. Special mentions to Jess Mager for rejoining the action after a nasty tumble in the first half and to Millie George, Izzy Overy, Tracey Martin and Sophie Runcorn for making that left wing theirs and giving no one an easy path through it. Girl of the game went to Hannah Barcham. Final score 0-10.


Thurrock started their second league game of the season in good spirits after last week’s convincing victory, and dominated possession for the majority of the first half without finding a way through a solid Southend defence. Thurrock finally got their nose in front when Paul Mailey scored from a penalty corner with a clean strike into the bottom corner. Southend almost got straight back into the game, but for a superb save from Andy Gaut diving low to his right to stop the goal bound effort.

The second half started with Thurrock on the front foot, and they finally found their goal scoring touch. Some good work from Jay Lamb in defence, led to Thurrock’s second with Steve Abbott finding a route through to goal. A well worked short corner involving Mailey and Darren Clark saw Abbott score his 7th of the season. Southend pushed for a consolation, and a quick break saw them get a deflection in front of goal which left Gaut no chance. Thurrock rounded the game off with Abbott unselfishly passing to Ash Snell in front of goal to coolly slot home for the 4th.


Second game of the season and we were up against Basildon 2s. We had a strong team out and were determined to come out with a win. With the sun shining it proved to be a hard match however with some good teamwork we managed to come out on top winning 6-1 with goals from Nikhol Chapman (2), Charlotte Adnams (1), Leah Purser (1), Katie Jacks (1) & Joey Taylor (1) with man of the match being awarded to our keeper Kelly Bentley for some fantastic saves.


Thurrock’s youngsters attended the first Essex League fixtures of the season at Waltham Forest Academy on a bright and crisp Sunday morning.

Thurrock join forces with Havering Hockey Club and all the teams played exceptionally well throughout the day, with good results across all age groups against a variety of teams across Essex.

U10 Girls – Drew 2, Lost 2; Eloise Naylor was Thurrock’s outstanding player in some tough games.

U10 Boys – Drew 1, Lost 3; against strong sides from Waltham Forest, East London and Wapping. James Mailey scoring a superb individual goal against Wapping.

U12 Girls – Won 1, Drew 2; with victory against Old Loughtonians and draws against East London and Waltham Forest. Great performances from Sienna Clark, Hannah Impey and Amelia Daniel.

U12 Boys – Drew 1, Lost 2; with one defeat coming is the last seconds of the game. Cameron Raisbury was outstanding in defence yet again.


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