Thurrock 0 - 1 Hendon
An uninspiring first half followed by a better second
Hendon arrived at Ship Lane in a play-off position and by the end of ninety minutes remained in fourth place courtesy of a single goal early in the second half in a game where chances were few and far apart.
Thurrock don’t make their first half chance until nearly fifteen minutes in. Lewwis Spence has a thirty yard shot charged down and as the ball comes back to him he picks out Ronnie Winn who threads a pass between the Hendon defence for Reece Morgan to shoot high but the offside flag was in the air. Hendon enjoy a period of possession without troubling Ben McNamara before Winn gets the ball deep in Hendon territory and jinks his way past three defenders before feeding Joel Nouble who curls his effort wide.
Halfway through and Hendon win a free kick in a dangerous position which is somewhat wasted as it is weakly struck straight at McNamara. Ten minutes remain as Ashley Nathaniel-George shows a flash of ability to make space on the left wing and blazes a shot across the face of goal just wide of the far post.
And so a lethargic first half comes to a goalless end.
Half Time: Thurrock 0 – 0 Hendon
The second half is a livelier affair. Inside the first minute Nouble works his way in from the left wing to again shoot wide. League leading scorer Niko Muir has been contained by Thurrock but now gets two chances in quick succession, the first is well wide from twenty five yards but the second requires a fantastic save from McNamara to get a strong hand to the ball to push clear for a corner.
The winning goal comes in the fifty second minute and comes courtesy of a piece of individual brilliance from Nathaniel-George. A short corner starts the move and Remi Sutton has come across to shadow the lively winger. Nathaniel-George jinks left and right trying to get past before finally managing to wriggle past Sutton and then carry the ball across the edge of the area before hitting his shot beyond McNamara into the far side netting.
Thurrock respond and Charlie Stimson forces his way in from the left wing and Tom Lovelock makes the first of many important saves low at the near post to give away a corner. Nouble is next to wriggle his way in from the wing and find a shooting opportunity but again Lovelock gets a hand to the shot to concede just a corner. Lovelock punches the corner clear where James Goode gathers on the right wing and passes inside to Sutton who moves forwards into space and unleashes a strong shot that is curling into the top bins but once again Lovelock denies Thurrock an equaliser.
Thurrock again work the ball well on the right wing and as Reece Morgan whips in a cross James Hammond climbs all over Spence and referee Peter Cruise does not hesitate to point to the penalty spot. Jordan Clark steps up and places the ball in a perfect position low and just inside the post but Lovelock is not to be beaten today and having guessed the correct way to dive gets yet another finger tip save to his credit.
The final fifteen minutes sees both sides cancel each other out until the final minute when Clark gets the ball out from under his feet and spins inside the D but can only find Lovelock’s arms.
Thurrock: Ben McNamara, Joe Oseyemi (Perry Dunn 81), Remi Sutton, Dexter Peter, Jordan Clark, James Goode, Reece Morgan, Lewwis Spence, Charlie Stimson, Ronnie Winn, Joel Nouble (Timothy Ogunrinde 71)
Unused: Toby Smith, Connor Weston, Reece Cave
Full video highlights courtesy of Back of the Net
Next Match: Sat 24th Feb | Burgess Hill Town vs Thurrock
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