Burgess Hill Town 2 - 5 Thurrock
Thurrock hit five on the road
Thurrock travelled to the Green Elephant Stadium for the first time in their history today. It was soon apparent all was not well as the match referee was concerned with a section of the pitch in the shade of the main stand. In an innovative approach to get the game on a number of cars were driven onto the pitch to warm the affected area, this along with more traditional methods paid off and the game got the green light.
As early as the second minute Thurrock come close to taking the lead. A throw from Joe Oseyemi comes through to Jordan Clark who curls the ball towards the far corner and with Tony Di Bernado well beaten the ball hits the woodwork and bounces away to safety. Ten minutes later and Oseyemi advances down the right wing and sees his cross blocked for a corner which causes a degree of confusion before being scrambled away.
Burgess Hill push forwards and win a corner of their own which is cleared by Perry Dunn to Reece Morgan who breaks away and the ball passes quickly to Charlie Stimson and then Ronnie Winn. Winn draws players to him before playing back to Stimson whose shot is blocked for a throw. Remi Sutton takes the throw and the ball works into the area, Stimson passes back out to Lewwis Spence who hits a trademark blast just tipped over by Di Bernado.
It’s still anyone’s game to get the opener as Burgess Hill break down the left wing and get in a dangerous low ball across the area which Thurrock defend well although the linesman flag is raised. Ronnie Winn is fouled on the edge of the area from Ben McNamara’s dead ball clearance. The free kick is taken quickly to the lively Morgan who drives in and sees his shot strike keeper Di Bernado but as the ball squirms under the Burgess Hill custodian’s body Morgan gets his toe to the ball to poke home for the opener.
Morgan soon comes close to an assist as he delivers the ball into the area, a mad scramble ensues and a mad clatter of boots on pads is heard but to their credit no player from either side takes an easy dive and the ball finally rolls tamely through to Town’s keeper.
Town come close to equalising with a couple of minutes left in the half as they move down the right wing and a tentative cross to the far post ends up nestling on the roof of the net. The final minute and Spence is commanding the middle third and finds Winn out on the left wing, a curling cross is touched behind for a corner. Winn trots across to the other wing to take the corner he has earned and puts the ball into space inviting an attack and it is Lewwis Spence with the desire to power home a header from close range.
Half Time: Burgess Hill Town 0 – 2 Thurrock
The Hillians come out after the interval looking to reduce Thurrock’s lead and Aaron Smith-Joseph gets beyond Thurrock’s defence only to shoot high and wide. Thurrock respond and Stimson, Clark and Remi Sutton open up the Town defence only for the final ball to be too high to cause any concerns. Burgess Hill again get forwards down the right wing as Jack Brivio surges in one on one with McNamara and it is Thurrock’s No. 1 who wins the contest. But just a minute later another quick ball out of defence down the right wing from Burgess Hill sees Connor Tighe in space and time and he makes no mistake to pull one back.
A good chance for Thurrock to restore the two goal cushion comes shortly after. Morgan’s throw is tapped back to him and he sends the ball in to find Clark with a free header that is glanced just wide of the left upright. Burgess Hill get a free kick which is fiercely struck and McNamara does well to push away.
And then on a bitter cold February day Thurrock turn up the heat with two goals in two minutes. Joel Nouble wins the ball wide on the right wing and Thurrock play the ball across the line through Clark out to Stimson who plays back into Winn to turn inside his marker and then leave Di Bernado stranded as he buries the ball in the net. Whilst the build up to Thurrock’s fourth is slightly different as Clark bullies his way into the area the final result is similar as Stimson finds himself 16 yards out in the middle of the area, he dummies to take Sam Fisk out of the picture and shoots from about the same place as Winn and pretty much finds the same spot in the back of the net.
To their credit, Burgess Hill aren’t inclined to roll over and give up and given the chance Ibrahim Fortana is put through on goal and wriggles past McNamara and finds the net from a tight angle.
As Thurrock press forwards again there is very nearly a bizarre own goal. Another Ronnie Winn corner is sent in but it doesn’t clear the first defender whose header flashes across the face of goal and barely clears the far post with everyone beaten. Again Winn on sole corner duty swaps wings and this time the outswinger is met by Stimson who sees a goal line clearance.
Thurrock gain in confidence and possession as the game progresses into the final fifteen. The ref plays advantage allowing Sutton to play the ball into Stimson who lets the ball run through his legs for Spence to win a corner. Once more Winn finds a sweet spot and Dexter Peter meets the ball and heads just over the bar. The game becomes end to end for a while with the best chance falling to Burgess Hill who find a superb diagonal cross field ball needing another super save from McNamara.
Five minutes from time and Charlie Stimson pulls out a goal of the season contender. He is out on the right wing some twenty five yards out when he glances up and notices Di Bernado off his line. The lob is exquisite in planning and implementation and whilst Di Bernado get s a palm to the ball it is already over the line.
It is a terrific result for Thurrock who have often struggled away from home and gives a solid base for the final ten games.
Thurrock: Ben McNamara, Reece Morgan, Remi Sutton, Perry Dunn, Joe Oseyemi (Joel Nouble 46), Dexter Peter, James Goode, Lewwis Spence, Charlie Stimson, Ronnie Winn, Jordan Clark
Unused: Toby Smith, Timothy Ogunrinde, Reece Cave, Connor Weston
Next Match: Sat 24th Feb | Thurrock vs Tooting & Mitcham United
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