Maldon & Tiptree 0 Thurrock 1
by Robert Wheeler
Thurrock FC have been promoted to the Isthmian Premier league thanks to a Ronnie Winn goal against Maldon and Tiptree in the playoff final at Park Drive.
The game began on a mild Sunday afternoon with the passionate fans of Thurrock FC behind the goal singing in full voice. The chant “We are the fleet” was echoed around the ground.
Mark Onyemah had the first chance of the game as he gathered from a long ball but his shot from a tight angle was scuffed wide for a goal kick.
From a corner kick that was won by Ronnie Winn, Charlie Stimson headed the ball goalwards after Joe Christou's inswinger had hit the bar but his shot was scrambled out of the danger zone and no goal was given although many fans thought that the ball had crossed the line.
Thurrock at times were knocking the ball about well but both teams were guilty of the long ball tactic knowing the importance of the game but this did not add to the spectacle.
Remi Sutton who scored the goal against Hornchurch to get Mark Stimson’s side into the final tried a powerful effort from range however his shot went narrowly wide.
On the 35th minute Onyemah was brought down in the box but despite the appeals no penalty was given by the referee. The forward refused to give up firing a shot after a break soon after but his effort was saved by Daniel Wilks in the Maldon net.
With the half-time score at 0-0 there was still all to play for. Stimson’s players would have been pleased with their performance so far knowing that if they keep this up they will have a great chance in gaining promotion.
The Thurrock fans switched ends as the second period begun. An early effort from Matt Lock looked like it was heading to into the top corner but to the relief of the travelling support Bobby Mason managed to tip the ball past the post.
Maldon were on top at this point early on in the half with Liam Nash wasting a good opportunity for them after a dangerous ball was put in. Adam Mills also volleyed wide of the Thurrock net.
As Thurrock were getting back into the game Ronnie Winn fired them into the lead with a powerful strike. The players and supporters in green and yellow celebrated wildly knowing they had one foot in the Isthmian Premier.
Captain Richard Halle who was having an excellent game alongside Joe Bruce willed his players on as they were 10 minutes away from promotion. His side responded well by putting in brave challenges and important clearances.
Players celebrated emphatically with their supporters with the chants “we are going up!” and the famous “we are the fleet!” bellowing about the ground.
Team: Bobby Mason, Ronnie Winn, Remi Sutton, Richard Halle, Mark Onyemah (Jack Barham 74), Joe Bruce, Jordan Clark (George Winn 82), Glenn Poole (David Cowley 58) Charlie Stimson, Joe Christou, Reece Morgan
Unused: Connor Wheatley, Michael Pindy