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Tuesday 7th October – Thurrock 3 – 3 AET Hayes & Yeading
Setanta Shield, 7:45pm – Thurrock win 5-4 on pens
Nine men Thurrock kept their nerve to win this Setanta Shield tie 5-4 on penalties against one of the early pacesetters, Hayes & Yeading.
Thurrock took the lead on 25 minutes as the outstanding Sam Lechmere broke down the right, his cross was converted by Leon McKenzie. The lead was doubled 5 minutes later as Mark Wright curled his free kick over the wall and into the top corner of the net.
Moments later, the visitors were back in the game as David Blackmore fouled Josh Scott in the box. Scott picked himself up and converted the penalty.
United began to put pressure on Thurrock and with just 3 minutes of normal time remaining, Scott turned provider for Scott Fitzgerald to equalise.
Extra time looked certain but nobody could predict what was about to happen!
In the 93rd minute, Jon Docker found space down the right and his cross was met by the diving head of Che Stadhart who sent an unstoppable shot passed Delroy Preddie in what everyone at Ship Lane would have thought was the winner.
However this was not the case and with the referee with whistle to lips and the ball safely in Blackmore’s hands, the ‘keeper decided to lash out at Fitzgerald and was dismissed for violent conduct. Rob Swaine deputised in goal for the penalty and could do nothing to stop Scott from grabbing his second of the game and Hayes & Yeadings equaliser in the eight minute of stoppage time.
Matt Paine went in goal for extra time before the away side lost Tom Cadmore to injury in extra time to even up the numbers but it was soon to be advantage United once more as Stadhart was dismissed for two bookings.
With the entertainment unable to find a winner on the pitch it was left to penalties. David Bryant, Mark Wright, Lechmere, Craig Hughes, and Docker all converted their spot kicks in impressive fashion for the home side as did the first four United penalty takers. The last kick was taken by Kieran Knight who shot over the bar to give the Fleet a place in the next round.