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Thurrock lose to League's only unbeaten hockey team
11:00am Thursday 28th February 2013 in Sport
HOCKEY: THURROCK lost to the only unbeaten side in division 3SE, East London. The borough’s first string went down 3-0 away from home. The game started well for the home side who took control pretty much across the pitch.
About 10 minutes in, a lucky bouncing cross found its way to the East London forward who quite spectacularly managed to find the backboard.
Thurrock’s stand-in captain Nick Stapleton made a tactical change and put three players into the centre to strengthen the midfield, a tactic which worked well as East London were forced down the wings.
Near misses from Liam Birch and some decent play from Mike Hewing cheered the Thurrock bench, but the pressure did not result in a score.
After half time East London were the better team. Their second goal came mid way through the second half when their speedy centre midfielder put the ball away to the right of the keeper’s foot.
East London’s final goal came in similar circumstances when their other centre midfielder found himself some space in the D.
He smacked the ball hard and low, and the deflected ball spun in.
Man of the match this week went to the keeper Andy Gaut who made some outstanding saves – particularly from short corners. Next week T’s play Southend.
Thurrock’s third string lost 2-1 to Wapping. Thurrock were under heavy pressure from the start and defenders Ethan Pinion, Chris Smith and George McAllister had to work hard.
Gradually Thurrock got into the game and the midfield of Tom Archer, Ricky Smith, Mat Skinner, George Horgan and Jo Harvey all got involved as the borough side struggled to stay with their opponents.
After 15 minutes Dave Leeks collected the ball and played a series of one-two passes to beat the Wapping defence before passing Olu Akinwande whose shot was saved. But Ricky Smith seized on the rebound and hammered the ball past the keeper.This boosted Thurrock’s confidence and they forced the home side into defence.
A change of formation and substituted resulted in Wapping having much more of the ball and keeper Danny Hick pulled off a string of excellent saves.
Wapping penned Thurrock into their 25m area and limited them to solo attacks by Leeks which were quickly turned around. With 10 minutes to go, Wapping levelled.
Wapping took full advantage of Thurrock’s fatigue by scoring the winner from a final minute breakaway.