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Monday 25th August – Bishop’s Stortford 2 – 1 Thurrock
Bishop’s Stortford came from a goal down to extend Thurrock’s League run without a point to five games.
During the early stages of the match Stortford looked very composed on the ball but their only effort came on 16 minutes when Luke Websters free kick was met by the head of home captain Paul Goodacre and looped narrowly over.
Thurrock punished Bishop’s Strortford for their lack of creativity as they themselves took the lead on 24 minutes in possibly the best move of the game.
Fola Orilonishe laid the ball back from the left to Nicky Greene, who switched to skipper Lee Flynn who had occupied the Right Back slot. Flynn then passed the ball all the way back to Andrew Young in the away goal. Young’s route one ball found Che Stadhart who controlled well having beaten the offside trap, and chipped his shot over Nicky Eyre and into the back of the net.
Stortford responded to the goal and just three minutes later equalised when Webster set Danny Harris free. The front man shot across goal beating Young, hitting the inside of the post and in.
Thurrock threatened to regain advantage as Danny Lodge’s blistering shot went close, and moments later Flynn’s free kick was headed goalbound by Stadhart only for Eyre to pull off a terrific save. Down the other end, Tom Champion set up Piers Wixon whose effort was cleared off the line before Webster shot over from close range to ensure the scores were level at half time.
As the second half started, the most notable incident was the injury to Phil Anderson within the first minute. Anderson, who was replaced by Jake Gilbert, went down unchallenged and replaced immediately raising concerns that he may add to the Thurrock injury list of Leon McKenzie, Greg Lincoln and Rob Swaine.
On 61 minutes, Orilonishe’s cross from the left found substitute Rhys Henry whose header across goal was cleared for a corner. Stadhart looked to have converted the resulting corner from Henry but his effort was cleared off the line. Gilbert received the rebound and just as he was about to shoot appeared to be fouled but shouts for a penalty was waved away.
From this, the home side counter attacked and with Thurrock players tracking back Idemudia Okojie’s through ball enabled Wixon the opportunity to coolly slot passed Young giving the hosts advantage.
Thurrock pushed forward for an equaliser and Lodge looked most likely to score, coming closest as his turn and shot was again superbly saved by Eyre, tipping over the bar.
Bishop’s Stortford could have extended their lead at the death when Matt Jones teed up a shot from the right, only for Matt Paine to throw his body at the ball and make an outstanding block.
Thurrock: Young, Flynn, Anderson (48, Gilbert), Clark, Paine, Masade (55, Henry), Orilonishe (72, Samuels), Greene, Lettejallow, Stadhart, Lodge Subs not used: Hussein, Araba
Bishop’s Stortford: Eyre, Jones, Taylor, Champion, Goodacre, King, Okojie (72, Mason), Edwards, Wixon, Harris (78, Dean), Webster (64, Jermy)