Brightlingsea Regent 1 - 3 Thurrock
Thurrock remain unbeaten in March
The two teams promoted from Ryman One North last year met for the second time this year.
Brightlingsea get an early sighter with a speculative effort from range that curls wide of the goal and doesn’t trouble Ben McNamara. Thurrock respond as Ronnie Winn makes progress through the middle of the pitch before playing in Michael Pindy to win a corner, Winn puts the ball into the six yard box and James Bradbrook makes a flapping hash of a punch with the ball going straight up in the air and he’s grateful to grab it at the second time of asking. Lewwis Spence wins the ball high up the pitch and juggles the ball to get free of his defender and slip the ball through for Winn only for Bradbrook to get there first. Up the other end of the pitch and a close range snapshot from Terry Amass draws a smart reaction save from McNamara.
The midpoint of the half and Regent nearly open the scoring, Thurrock’s attacking move is broken down and the ball is played quickly out of defence down the right wing to prolific scorer Aaron Condon who unleashes an effort that smashes off the crossbar. A moment later and Thurrock halt a Regent move and clear downfield, Timothy Ogunrinde collects the ball and makes his way out to the left wing before pausing and then sending an inviting low cross that Pindy gets a toe to but can’t divert towards goal. Condon gets into scoring position again and McNamara is again swiftly down to push the ball round his near post.
Thurrock get their first goal thirty minutes in, Perry Dunn lifts the ball over the midfield and back four into the path of Winn, Ronnie takes the ball out of the air with a sublime touch and then curls the ball past Bradbrook. Spence again wins the ball just outside the area and this time puts the ball in for Charlie Stimson but again it is Bradbrook who wins the race for the ball. Brightlingsea have won quite a number of corners throughout the half and with a couple of minutes left they get another, it’s first flicked on from the near post and then glanced just wide of the far post.
Half Time: Brightlingsea Regent 0 – 1 Thurrock
Brightlingsea come out for the second half with renewed vigour and fifteen minutes in win a penalty after Remi Sutton is deemed to have handled the ball after it strikes him at close range. Billy Hunt is composed and fires past McNamara. The R’s continue to push but Thurrock keep their shape and discipline. A scramble at the edge of Thurrock’s box and McNamara comes out to claim the ball which looked like it was kicked out of his hands. Stranded in no man’s land he is helpless as the ball is smashed past him towards goal yet Dexter Peter has covered the line and gets the ball out of danger.
Having resisted the onslaught Thurrock start to impose themselves again. Pindy carries the ball forwards, Stimson and Winn take touches before setting Sutton to shoot, a deflection takes the ball over the bar for a corner. Reece Morgan wins the ball on the half way line, looks up and feeds into Stimson’s feet, Stimson is patient inviting a rash move from the defence before shooting gaining a corner. Jordan Clark swings the ball in to Stimson to glance a low header wide of the far post.
As we get into the last ten minutes, Thurrock seem to have the measure of Brightlingsea now but equally Thurrock are also frustrated in their chances. Then Sutton and Stimson link up but it is the centre forward playing in the left back to glide past the defence and side foot past Bradbrook at close range. And then the killer blow. Stimson is fouled out by the touchline, Ronnie Winn takes the free kick and at first it seems too high as it clears everyone in the middle of the area yet Reece Cave is arriving at speed at the far post and makes a difficult side foot volley look simple to give Thurrock a clear gap.
Some four minutes into extra time it was heartening to see George Winn come onto the pitch after his long time out through injury. Replacing Stimson at centre forward it was very nearly a Winn-Winn situation with brother Ronnie picking out George who nearly gets a goal with his first touch in months.
The final whistle finally blows and Thurrock make it four out of four and move up into twelfth place.
Team: Ben McNamara, Reece Morgan, Remi Sutton, Perry Dunn, Dexter Peter, Jordan Clark, Timothy Ogunrinde (Joel Nouble, 78), Lewwis Spence, Charlie Stimson (George Winn, 94), Ronnie Winn, Michael Pindy (Reece Cave, 70)
Unused: Connor Weston, Toby Smith
Next Match: Sat 3st Mar | Thurrock vs Leiston
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