Thurrock celebrate a return to action by smashing TEN past Erith and Belvedere

Thurrock Gazette: Thurrock celebrate a return to action by smashing TEN past Erith and Belvedere Thurrock celebrate a return to action by smashing TEN past Erith and Belvedere

DAVID Knight scored FIVE goals as Fleet thumped lowly Erith & Belvedere 10 (ten) - 1 at Ship Lane.

In a week when it was revealed that a whopping 500 Ryman league games have been called off since the start of 2014, Thurrock played their first home game in two months.

And after record rainfall in recent weeks, it was nice to see some football records broken.

This was the first time in 27 years Thurrock had scored 10 goals in one game.

At around 2pm on Thursday, one of the linesmen gave the game go-ahead. Eight hours later, the game finished Thurrock 10, Erith & Belvedere 1, leaving the Kent visitors wishing the game had been postponed.

David Knight bagged five, Robert Clark two, Charlie Stimson two and Lewis Perkins one and Mark Stimson, the Fleet boss, was understandably delighted.

"To score 10 is a great achievement", Stimson said. "And that is a first for me as a manager. What must be remembered is that it is a result of all the player's work in training over the last few weeks. The players got the rewards of that training."

The rout started with a penalty in the 15th minute. Knight stepped up and slotted the ball home.

Three minutes later, young midfielder Rob Clark doubled Fleet's lead, who struck the ball home from outside the area after a half-cleared corner.

In the 31st minute, Knight scored his second, converting from 18-yards after a decent spell of keep-ball from the hosts. It was 4-0 ten minutes later.

Knight, signed from Met Police in September, had a hat-trick after curling the ball past Ashley Bourne.

And on the stroke of half time, he scored again making it 5-0 before the break.

"It was a great first half and we played some lovely football, with two of the goals coming from great periods of passing from the team." Stimson said. "I told the players how pleased I was with them and asked them to win the second half, we all knew that Erith would try to win the half to take some pride from the game."

With that in mind, Thurrock hit the turf - which was beginning to cut up - once more and within seconds, Knight had his fifth and Thurrock's sixth.

Knight now has 18 goals in 20 appearances for Thurrock. He sits fourth in the league's goalscorer standings with 15.

In the 57th minute, Clark bagged his brace scoring a 30-yard scorcher to make it 7-0. That was his ninth of the season - a superb return for the talented midfielder.

Luke Tanner hit back for Erith, but with the score 7-1 and 20 minutes left to play, Fleet had time for three more.

In the 80th minute, Charlie Stimson was introduced. He scored Thurrock's 8th within seconds.

Lewis Perkins then made it 9-1 in the 87th minute and Stimson found time to add another - his 10th of the season - to complete an astonishing 10-1 drubbing.

Stimson senior added: "It was a great day for the club, but it must be remembered there is a long way to go in the season.

"We have dropped down the league (to sixth) whilst not able to play and we have a fight with around nine other clubs for the playoffs and promotion.

"Hopefully we can get a good run of games now and I am confident we will continue to perform well and finish high in the table."

THURROCK THRASHING FACTS:

*This was the first time in Mark Stimson's decorated managerial career that one of his side's had hit 10 or won by nine.

*It was also the first time since 1987 that Thurrock scored 10 goals in one game and only the fourth time in their history that they have won by nine or more.

*It was also the biggest win of any Ryman Divsion One North side this season and the biggest since Heybridge Swifts beat Redbridge 11-0 last season.

*David Knight was the first Fleet player to bag five goals in one game since Terry Bellamy, who achieved the rare feat in Thurrock's first ever season - during an 11-0 win over Coggeshall Reserves during the club's intermediate years.

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