NON-LEAGUE: ON AN emotional day, Stuart Thurgood came off the Ship Lane pitch feeling a bit hard done by.
The Thurrock skipper felt his side didn’t deserve to lose to Concord Rangers, but a Nicky Cowley header 10 minutes into the second half proved enough for Fleet to suffer their seventh league defeat of the season.
Thurgood, who was the Thurrock man of the match, had woken to news that his former Grays Athletic team-mate Mitchell Cole had died duruing the night. The pair played under Mark Stimson at Grays Athletic.
But in a typically consistent performance, the experiencd centre-mid stroked the ball around and never gave up on the game or his players, as he encouraged and instructed.
In the first half, Thurrock matched Concord admirably. But Beachboys, who are in a rich vein form with six wins and 34 goals in their last seven games, were the better side in the second half.
Nicky Cowley’s 55th minute header from a sumptuous James White free kick was the game’s only goal, but Tony Stokes came extremely close to doubling the visitors’ lead late on. Only a reaction save from David Hughes and then the post denied the former West Ham man. There were few clean cut chances in the game, but the best openings fell to Concord. Stokes came close on seven minutes, but he couldn’t quite connect with a ball fizzed across goal by White.
Charlie Stimson, returning to the Thurrock starting line-up missed three half-chances in the first half, all created by the lively Harry Honesty off the left wing, who faded out of the game in the second half.
His lack of involvement coincided with Thurrock’s struggle to create chances on goal in the second period. Concord stopper Michael Jordon was rarely needed.
For borough non-league football see Friday's THURROCK GAZETTE