Mark Stimson's side find their mojo, in time for glamorous cup tie with Colchester United

THURROCK FC: SITTING pretty in second place in the Ryman Division One North table and with a glamourous cup tie at Colchester United to look forward to, Thurrock have ensured their pre-season problems are very much a thing of the past.

Having been demoted from the Ryman Premier for fielding an ineligble player last season and then losing a fight with the Football Association to have the relegation overturned, Fleet took their time to get going this season.

But Saturday’s 2-0 win over Dereham Town saw them move into second place and then, earlier this week, the club received confirmation that they will travel to League One side Colchester United in the quarter finals of the Essex Senior Cup.

In a strange twist of fate, Fleet’s meeting with the U’s came about after they were re-instated into the competition because their conquerors in the fourth round, Witham Town, were booted out for fielding an ineligible player.

Saturday’s win at third-placed Dereham was inspired by David Knight.

The game was the first real test to Mark Stimson side’s ever-strengthening promotion credentials and they passed with flying colours.

They are now four points behind stuttering league leaders VCD and two ahead of third placed Witham Town – albeit having played four more games.

Last week, keeper Andy Walker was awarded the league’s goalkeeper of the month award for conceding just three goals in his past eight games.

And on Saturday, he again kept a clean sheet allowing the Fleet attackers to win the game late on.

Lewwis Spence got Fleet’s opener in the 74th minute.

He gathered a quick free-kick played from inside the Thurrock half by Lewis Clark before bursting through the defence and lashing the ball home from a very tight angle.

Former Met Police striker Knight got the second and his 13th goal in 14 appearances for the club. He latched on to a pass from Ross Wall before slotting the ball home from close range.

Some of the shine was taken off Thurrock’s win as 78th minute sub Loui Hazelwood was shown two yellow cards in less than 10 minutes and given his marching orders.

Fleet face Chatham Town at Ship Lane on Saturday, looking to make it five league wins on the bounce.

Thurrock: Walker; L Clark (Hazelwood 78), Sutton, Santos, King; R Clark, Perkins (Stanley 12), Spence, Warner; Knight, Wall. Subs not used: Ibe, Ottley, Martin.

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