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Saturday 6th September – Hayes & Yeading 2 – 1 Thurrock
Hayes and Yeading came out tops in this game of two halves as they inflicted Thurrock’s seventh defeat out of eight games.
The first half was almost entirely dominated by the home side and it was no surprise, given both sides recent form, that is was they who created the first chance of the game after just 8 minutes as Steven Gregory’s long range effort deflected wide for a corner.
Moments later Ram Marwa’s accidental back-heal found the path of Josh Scott but his effort curled well wide.
Hayes & Yeading continued to threaten as Scott Fitzgerald forced David Blackmore into his first save since his return on loan from West Ham United.
James Mulley then forced Blackmore into a save from close range before breaking the deadlock in the 20th minute, converting Scott’s low cross from the left wing.
Nine minutes later, Fitzgerald beat the offside trap only to see his shot superbly saved by Blackmore, but almost immediately after clearing the ball, Thurrock lost possession, enabling Fitzgerald to release Gregory who made it two-nil.
On the brink of half time, Gregory’s cross-field pass found the Fleet’s Michael Spencer who released Che Stadhart. As Stadhart took the ball around Aaron Howe in the home goal, Howe fouled Stadhart, and despite arguments that he was the last man the ref produced only a yellow card much to the disgust of Stadhart who talked himself into a caution.
From the resulting free kick, Jon Docker curled his shot over the wall but Howe, who the home side would be delighted to have still on the pitch, was at hand to provide a superb save.
Thurrock opened the second half with the same intentions as those of the home side in the first, with Stadhart and David Bryant linking up well but Bryant’s cross could not find Fola Orilnishe.
In the 53rd minute Docker’s tremendous through ball set Bryant free. The front man rounded the ‘keeper but his shot lacked pace and was easily cleared by Tom Cadmore for a corner.
With the introduction of substitutes Craig Hughes and Aaron McLeish, Thurrock appeared to be more evenly balanced and in the 63rd minute the changes paid off as Stadhart set up McLeish who tapped in on the line.
Hayes & Yeading could have extended their lead after a solo run from Mulley ended with another good save by Blackmore. The rebound fell to Danny Allen-Page who volleyed into the side-netting.
Thurrock continued to push for an equaliser and in the 76th minute good work by McLeish allowed Docker space but his cross was headed wide by Orilonishe.
Two minutes later, Orilonishe almost grabbed the elusive equaliser but his low drive was tipped wide by Howe.
With ten minutes remaining it was United’s turn to round the ‘keeper but Mulley’s shot was cleared off the line by Kenny Clark.
Docker was dismissed for the Fleet in the 87th minute after picking up his second booking of the game, and despite having ten men Thurrock continued to look most likely to score.
With time running out Thurrock threw everything at the game and had a penalty shout turned down at the death as Cadmore was adjudged to handle in a crowded box, and the home side hung on for the three points.
Thurrock: Blackmore, Clark, Flynn, Anderson (84, Araba), Paine, Orilonishe, Spencer (48, Hughes), Docker, Lettejallow (60, McLeish), Stadhart, Bryant Subs not used: Hussein, Gilbert – Booked: Bryant, Stadhart, Docker, Hughes; Sent Off: Docker
Hayes & Yeading: Howe, Allen-Page, Martin, Cadmore, Ruby, Marwa, Mulley, Gregory, Fitzgerald (75, Knight), Hendry (90, James), Scott (82, Palmer) Subs not used: Collins, Preddie –Booked: Martin, Hendry, Howe