MARK Stimson was "encouraged" after watching his team draw 1-1 with Margate.

Fleet remain rooted to the bottom of the Ryman Premier League and squandered a host of second half chances to beat their Kent visitors.

Skipper Stuart Thurgood put Thurrock into the lead after 37 minutes, with Fleet’s only shot on target in the first half. He dispatched from the spot after Lawrence Ball scythed down Luke Wanadio in a rare foray forward by Fleet.

Margate the better side in the first half, missed a handful of chances before the break, but levelled the scores four minutes into the second half when Tom Murphy smashed the ball past Wil Viner at the near post.

Despite forfeiting their lead early on, Thurrock were the better team in the second half.

Harry Honesty, a 64th minute sub, injected some life into Fleet down the left wing, Frank Griffin defied his age with a commanding performance at centre back, Sam Berry and Thurgood worked tirelessly in the middle and Wanadio looked like he could make something happen every time he picked up the ball and looked to dart at the full back.

Charlie Stimson missed three good chances in the second half and in the final five minutes, looked happy to settle for a draw. Margate enjoyed a late flurry of pressure and possession, but they too, were wasteful.

Thurrock: Viner, Jones, Walster, Griffin, Turpin, Wanadio, Thurgood (c), Berry, Griffiths (Honesty 64’), Stimson, Smith.

Gazette MoM: Stuart Thurgood