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First Team - Match centre

Harlow Town
C Ujah (41')
Full time
Mon 1 Jan 15:00 - The Bostik Football League - Premier Division Attendance 136

Thurrock 1 - 0 Harlow Town

by Dom Baker

This Bostik Premier League tie saw The Fleet kick off for the first time in 2018 as they hosted Harlow Town. The visitors started the game 22nd in the table while Thurrock were 18th, separated by just 5 points.

Early pressure came from the hosts as Thurrock got forward on the left through Remi Sutton. The fullback cut back for Ronnie Winn whose shot caused a scramble in the penalty area. First Timothy Ogunrinde’s strike was blocked before it fell to Jordan Clark who couldn’t keep his volley down.

Harlow Town answered with a chance of their own. Toby Ajala latched onto a long ball forward and centred for Ibe who couldn’t connect. Any sort of touch would have opened the scoring.

01/01/18 - Thurrock 1-0 Harlow Town
50 photos

The early exchanges were scrappy but energetic, there were no signs of New Year’s Eve hangovers. Thurrock were trying to keep the ball on the floor through Lewwis Spence and Joe Christou and were at their most dangerous when they got the ball wide.

On the 22nd minute mark Harlow carved out the game’s first clear cut chance. Midfielder Simms set Junior Dadson through on goal with a first-time pass. The left winger couldn’t convert though and saw his shot well saved by Ben McNamara.

Moments later Harlow went close again. Junior Dadson worked the ball from left to middle finding Alex Read on the edge of the area. The striker struck the ball fiercely but curled it just past the post. Thurrock were lucky not to be behind.

With half an hour gone Thurrock became the team to squander a chance. Ronnie Winn’s corner was whipped in with pace towards the back post but Perry Dunn’s header somehow didn’t find the net. The game was truly end to end but somehow goalless.

Lewwis Spence went close just minutes later when he danced through two challenges before firing into the keeper’s arms. The first substitution came on the 39th minute through injury. Jordan Clark was forced to come off with a knock allowing Joel Brown-Bampoe to replace him.

In an action packed first half it was Thurrock who struck first. Joe Christou caused problems from a set piece again as his corner found Curtis Ujah who rose the highest. His header smashed the post but came back out to the centre half, his rebound was poked into the net.

Curtis Ujah (41’)


Minutes into the second period Thurrock had a golden opportunity to increase the lead. Joe Christou clipped the ball forward for Joel Nouble to chase. The forward got it out of his feet but couldn’t lift the ball high enough over keeper David Hughes.

Remi Sutton got forward from left back to create another great chance again for Thurrock. The defender linked up well with Spence and drifted into the box. His left footed strike beat the goalkeeper but crashed off the bar, so unlucky.

Harlow reacted to the pressure through two substitutions, Tommie Fagg and James Shepherd entered the game. But Thurrock went close again through skipper Spence. He won a free kick 25 yards from goal and almost capitalised from it. His strike was clipped over the wall but whistled narrowly passed the post.

The first booking of the game went to Harlow defender Ibrahima Sonko for a late lunge on Ronnie Winn on the left wing. The resulting free kick was whipped in at pace towards the front post but cleared for a corner.

Thurrock were working hard to protect their lead by staying organised in defence and compact in midfield, Joel Nouble was the outlet in attack. Harlow were pushing for an equaliser and made their third sub with 15 minutes left to play. Ex-Thurrock striker Leon Antoine came on in attack.

Joe Christou went in to the referee’s book with 10 minutes left for what looked like a superb sliding tackle. Tommie Fagg lined up the free kick on the edge but saw his effort blocked by a flying Curtis Ujah. Thurrock got forward immediately with Ronnie Winn as an outlet, he danced past his man but saw his shot deflected and well stopped by Hughes.

Thurrock entered the final minutes of the game with lead to protect and were doing so bravely. I lost count of the number of headers and clearances that were won. It did, however, make for a nervy finish at Ship Lane. Substitute Claudio Ribeirio-Goncalves replaced Ogunrinde as we entered stoppage time.

Thurrock were weathering the late storm as they had all game. The organisation in defence was there for all to see, Harlow just couldn’t break down the back 4. Ben McNamara collected a low cross bravely in the dying seconds to seal the win.


It wasn’t the prettiest win, nor the most convincing, but was all the more special as circumstances meant players were out of position and young players were given important jobs to do. The senior squad members also stepped up to the plate and gave everything to ensure the team pulled together and got three important points to move up to 15th.

Thurrock: Ben McNamara, Jordan Clark (Joel Brown-Bampoe 39), Remi Sutton, Perry Dunn, Curtis Ujah, Joe Christou, Michael Pindy, Lewwis Spence, Joel Nouble, Ronnie Winn, Timothy Ogunrinde (Claudio Ribeirio-Goncalves 87)
Unused: Toby Smith, Mark Stimson
Attendance: 136

Next Match: Sat 6th Jan | Kingstonian vs Thurrock

Full fixture list here
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Key moments

Goal Curtis Ujah scores for Thurrock

Videos and photos

01/01/18 - Thurrock 1-0 Harlow Town
50 photos


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90:00 Clean Sheet Bonus
Ben McNamara keeps a clean sheet for Thurrock
87:00 Sub Off
Timothy Ogunrinde is substituted off for Thurrock
87:00 Sub On
Claudio Ribeirio-Goncalves is substituted on for Thurrock
81:00 Yellow Card
Ben McNamara is yellow carded for Thurrock
79:00 Yellow Card
Joe Christou is yellow carded for Thurrock
75:00 Sub Off
Kezie Ibe is substituted off for Harlow Town
75:00 Sub On
Leon Antoine is substituted on for Harlow Town
71:00 Yellow Card
Ibrahima Sonko is yellow carded for Harlow Town
61:00 Sub On
James Shepherd is substituted on for Harlow Town
61:00 Sub Off
Toby Ajala is substituted off for Harlow Town
59:00 Sub On
Tommie Fagg is substituted on for Harlow Town
59:00 Sub Off
Alex Read is substituted off for Harlow Town
End of period 1
41:00 Goal 1 - 0
Curtis Ujah scores for Thurrock
41:00 Assist
Joe Christou makes an assist for Thurrock
39:00 Sub On
Joel Brown-Bampoe is substituted on for Thurrock
39:00 Sub Off
Jordan Clark is substituted off for Thurrock
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Thurrock
  • Harlow Town
  • 0
  • Joel Brown-Bampoe Sub On 39:00'
  • Jordan Clark Sub Off 39:00'
  • Curtis Ujah Goal 41:00'
  • Joe Christou Assist 41:00'
  • Tommie Fagg Sub On 59:00'
  • Alex Read Sub Off 59:00'
  • James Shepherd Sub On 61:00'
  • Toby Ajala Sub Off 61:00'
  • Ibrahima Sonko Yellow Card 71:00'
  • Leon Antoine Sub On 75:00'
  • Kezie Ibe Sub Off 75:00'
  • Joe Christou Yellow Card 79:00'
  • Ben McNamara Yellow Card 81:00'
  • Claudio Ribeirio-Goncalves Sub On 87:00'
  • Timothy Ogunrinde Sub Off 87:00'

Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

Other Premier Division results

Wingate & Finchley
Tooting & Mitcham United
Folkestone Invicta
Staines Town

League table

# Team Pl Pts
13. Kingstonian 46 59
14. Dorking Wanderers 46 58
15. Thurrock 46 57
16. Worthing 46 57
17. Enfield Town 46 56
18. Merstham 46 56
19. Needham Market 46 49

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