Thurrock 4 - 1 Tooting & Mitcham United
By Dom Baker
Thurrock hosted Tooting & Mitcham United in what could be the final game under the lights at Ship Lane. It was an opportunity to build upon an impressive result on Saturday against a team struggling at the foot of the table. Before the round of fixtures Tooting & Mitcham were placed in 23rd on 34 points whilst The Fleet are in 13th with 46.
Thurrock named an unchanged team from Saturday’s win and looked to carry that momentum into this tie. Tooting and Mitcham started brighter applying pressure and find Chace O’Neill 20-yards from goal, who struck cleanly with his right boot but clipped the crossbar with his effort.
Thurrock’s first chance came through Ronnie Winn who picked up a loose ball on the edge of the box. He dropped his shoulder and shot with his left which was straight at United keeper Pierson. Moments later Winn turned provider, his in-swinging corner was met by Lewwis Spence at the back post whose header was fired into the side netting.
A string of corners followed in the next few minutes which almost gave the hosts the opener. Joel Nouble poked the ball back for Spence whose shot was blocked bravely, the rebound then fell to Perry Dunn who couldn’t get his effort past the bodies in the goalmouth either.
The first 30-minutes were cagey, loose touches and late tackles meant much of the half was being played in the middle of the park. When Tooting & Mitcham got forward they broke with pace out wide. Winger Juevan Spencer got forward in the 31st minute, beat his man and flashed a cross into the 6-yard box. The ball seemed destined to find a fellow purple shirt but was cut out well by Dexter Peter.
Moments later in the 32nd minute a Ronnie Winn delivery caused yet more problems. This time the whipped ball found Charlie Stimson who rose high but couldn’t find the target. United’s best chance of the half fell to Juevan Spencer. He timed his run into the box perfectly to meet a looping cross but lashed his effort well over.
Thurrock replied with a great chance of their own. Remi Sutton burst forward on the left flank and centred for Winn. The attacker’s left footed finish beat the keeper but beat the post too.
On the stroke of half time Thurrock got the game’s opener. Reece Morgan drove into the opposition’s half before drilling the ball low into the area. It bypassed the centre-half and fell to Charlie Stimson on the penalty spot who took a touch and dispatched the ball into the top corner.
THURROCK 1-0 TOOTING & MITCHAM UNITED
Charlie Stimson (45’)
Half Time:- Thurrock 1 - 0 Tooting & Mitcham United
In the 4th minute of the second period the game saw its 3rd yellow card, an illustration to the competitiveness on display. Tooting centre-back Matt Drage was booked for pushing Stimson to the ground as he raced down the right wing. The visitors looked up for a fight despite being one behind.
Just 4 minutes later Tooting level the tie. Purple shirts flooded the box and when Spencer went down the referee pointed to the spot. It was hard to tell how the foul was given, or who gave it away, but it was tucked home into the side netting by defender Wedgeworth.
THURROCK 1-1 TOOTING & MITCHAM UNITED
PETER WEDGEWORTH (55’)
Tooting & Mitcham looked a completely different side in this second period, winning headers and getting to loose balls. Thurrock responded to the pressure with the game’s first substitution. James Goode was replaced by Michael Pindy who slotted into attack.
Moments later United made a change of their own. Dan Clements made way for Ollie Bennett. The game’s 4th yellow, and Tooting’s 3rd went to O’Neill for a heavy challenge on Jordan Clark who consequently received physio treatment.
Despite the visitors’ intent Thurrock always seemed to possess more quality when going forward. The final pass or touch was often missing in the first hour but on the 70th minute mark they went ahead once again. Reece Morgan’s crossfield pass found Nouble’s run perfectly and allowed for an easy slot into the bottom corner.
THURROCK 2-1 TOOTING & MITCHAM UNITED
Joel Nouble (70’)
Just 9 minutes later, Thurrock extended their lead. A loose pass was collected by McNamara and lofted over the opposition back four. Stimson latched onto the clever pass and poked the ball under Tooting’s advancing keeper. Route one at its finest.
THURROCK 3-1 TOOTING & MITCHAM UNITED
Charlie Stimson (79’)
Thurrock kept up the pressure by getting players into the box. Ronnie Winn recovered a loose ball high in the opposition area and fed it to Michael Pindy on the right flank. The winger jinked past one, then two before laying it back to Winn on the penalty spot, all that was left to do was to stroke it past the keeper.
THURROCK 4-1 TOOTING & MITCHAM UNITED
Ronnie Winn (85’)
3 goals in, what felt like, a very quick 15-minute period well and truly killed the game. Thurrock showed a ruthlessness that was simply too strong for the visitors.
The game winded down in a scrappy fashion. Remi Sutton picked up a caution for a late lunge on the left flank and tiredness showed all over the park. The final minutes of the game saw another penalty awarded to Tooting. A combination of Perry Dunn and Dexter Peter took down striker Bennett. The penalty was struck by Wedgeworth again but, this time, with a different outcome. McNamara dived down to his left and palmed the ball out to safety.
THURROCK 4-1 TOOTING & MITCHAM UNITED
A slow first-half was met by a busy second. Thurrock were able to weather Tooting’s storm and better it with quick fire goals. A professional second-half was topped off with a fine penalty stop and gave McNamara some well-deserved plaudits.
Team: Ben McNamara, Reece Morgan, Remi Sutton, Perry Dunn, Jordan Clark, Dexter Peter, James Goode (Michael Pindy 62), Lewwis Spence, Charlie Stimson, Ronnie Winn (Timothy Ogunrinde 85), Joel Nouble
Unused: Toby Smith, Connor Weston, Joe Oseyemi
Next Match: Sat 17th Mar | Thurrock vs Folkestone Invicta
Full fixture list here
Away Days directory here