Hockey: Thurrock Men leave East London empty-handed

Thurrock Hockey


With only ten players against a full East London squad, Thurrock were under attack from the start and found it hard to break out of their own half. Despite keeper Ryan Jones pulling off a string of outstanding saves, it was no surprise when the home side took the lead from a short corner. Thurrock worked hard with father and son combination Darren and Ben Clark linking together to move the ball up the pitch and provide ammunition for Martin Healy. However a strong East London defence protected the keeper. A slick interplay between the East London forwards drew Thurrock out of position producing a second goal and a third was added soon afterwards when a mishit shot took a wicked deflection off a defender’s stick into the roof of the net to make it 0-3 at half time. Thurrock stepped up their effort in the second half and when hemmed in by three attackers, Jake Lamb was able to dribble out of the corner and send the ball up the pitch for Healy to shoot inches wide. Although Thurrock gave it their all and displayed some outstanding stickwork they succumbed to tiredness and conceded three more goals with Jones being named man of the match.


Thurrock knew they were in store for a tough game against the league leaders but were hoping that the week off due to the weather had given them a well earned rest. From the whistle, the match was played at a high intensity against a strong and physical Romford team. Thurrock were unlucky to go 1 nil down after they lost out in a goal mouth scramble early in the first half. Not to be deterred, Thurrock’s midfield put together some great passing to bring forwards Becky Osborne and Alison Bonner into action at the front. Their endless running gave Romford something to think about and were soon rewarded with a short corner. The initial shot was blocked by Romford but some great advantage played by the umpire allowed Fay Tuffee to sweep home the equaliser. The second half started with the same physicality and saw Romford make a break through their quick running forwards who unfortunately added another two goals to their tally. A penalty flick was then awarded to Romford but was brilliantly saved by Thurrock keeper Alison Hadley. Spurred on by this, Thurrock went on the attack and after a series of great passes through the central midfield, Bonner converted through a spectacular strike from the base line to score Thurrock’s second goal of the game. Despite some great tackles in the defence, the pace and physicality of the game took its toll and Romford capitalised with two further goals of their own towards the end of the second half, leaving the final score 5-2. A battered and bruised Thurrock team now look to get back to winning ways next week.


Thurrock came out fighting against current runner ups Crostyx and were ready for a tough game. Both teams started strong and Thurrock were successfully working their way past a strong Crostyx side several times with some great linked up play between Natalie Beardwell, Katie Lawrence and Emily Wynne along the left hand side. Finally Thurrock were able to find the back of a goal with a well-executed short corner and a goal from Natalie Beardwell to take the lead just before half time. Half time saw both teams shake up play and Thurrock knew Crostyx were keen to find the back of the net. Defenders Sally Ellis and Sarah White kept strong and goalkeeper Kelly Bentley saved the day on more than a few occasions. As the game was nearing the end, both teams were tiring and Crostyx managed to win a string of short corners which they then managed to capitalise on to take the final score 1-1. Thurrock still sit 4 points clear at the top of the league and have a well deserved rest for 2 weeks before playing Upminster away on 2 March.


After dropping points over their last 3 games, Thurrock finally found their form at the expense of Old Southendian’s. Thurrock started strongly, keeping possession well and moving the ball quickly to frustrate the opposition. Steven Abbott opened the scoring after 5 minutes, with Liam Ross and Paul Mailey scoring in quick succession to make it 3-0. Thurrock didn’t sit back and continued to push forward looking for more goals, scoring 3 more before half time, Callum Harvey getting on the score sheet with Ross and Abbott getting another each. The 2nd half was much the same, both Abbott and Ross completing their hat-tricks with Ross adding a fourth to his tally. Regan Harvey, Tony Cashman and Ricky Smith all getting on the scoresheet.


Thurrock Ladies 3s were delighted to welcome back their vice captain Jacquie Simmonds who has been out of action since being injured back in November but also sad to be saying farewell to Abby Pollock who after 10 years at Thurrock Hockey Club is moving to pastures new. Thurrock had pushback and went on the attack with Izzy Overy and Hannah Barcham taking the ball straight down the middle forcing Braintree’s defence to scramble away several attacks on their goal. Braintree tried to counter but Jess Mager was not letting anything get past her and got the ball to Lucy Cowman who stormed down the wing and struck the ball into the back of the net. This knocked Braintree’s confidence and Thurrock took advantage and kept driving forward. Chloe Oakley made the pressure pay off and scored her first Thurrock goal. Braintree decided they were down but not out and an intercepted pass from Thurrock’s hit out saw them score their first. Both teams kept pushing up and then, depending on what side you were supporting, Braintree scored either a very lucky or amazing equaliser as their shot that was hit wide rolled up their strikers stick and went in the goal. Final score 2-2. Girl of the game for her cool, calm and collected performance in defence was Laura Reynolds.

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