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Tuesday 9th September – Thurrock 2 – 0 Welling United
Setanta Shield, 7:45pm
Thurrock finally put an end to their win-less streak with a convincing victory over Welling in the Setanta Shield thanks to goals from David Bryant and Fola Orilonishe.
Having only picked up 1 point so far in the Blue Square South, Thurrock’s run without a win had stretched as far back to the 22nd July with a 3-1 friendly away victory over Concord Rangers. Despite this, recent performances had arguably warranted more than the Fleet were leaving with and tonight’s break from League football enabled them to notch up a well-deserved victory, and continue to increase confidence amongst the squad.
Welling created the first chance of the game on 6 minutes as Sonny Cobbs received the ball from a throw in wide right. He turned inside the home defence but curled his left footed shot wide of the far post.
In the 17th minute, Che Stadhart and Michael Spencer linked up to create a chance for star man Craig Hughes who shot wide from 20 yards.
Hughes, in his first 90 minutes since returning from a pre-season injury, played in the unfamiliar holding midfield role behind recent signing Jon Docker and the pair were instrumental in Thurrock’s attacking football.
On 22 minutes, Hughes and Docker created an opening for Orilonishe. The pacey wide man’s quick thinking allowed Bryant to turn and shoot from close range to notch his first goal since returning from Braintree.
Within 40 seconds, the home side could have doubled their lead as Stadhart’s back heel enabled Michael Spencer to whip in a quick cross from the left but Orilonishe could not connect to the ball.
In the 59th minute it was game over as Stadhart knocked David Blackmore’s long ball down to Bryant. Bryant played the ball inside of United’s left back Craig Braham-Barrett. Orilonishe beat his man for pace and slipped his shot under Scott Andrews and into the back of the net.
Welling had a chance to grab a lifeline in the 67th minute but Sol Pinnock headed substitute Ellis Greens shot over the bar from inside 6 yards.
Thurrock finished the game strong, and could have had three or four had Bryant’s powerful shot not hit the legs of Andrews, or Spencer had grabbed a goal from any of the three opportunities that he had to cap another fine performance.
The win has been coming for Thurrock, and hopefully they can maintain the momentum on Saturday when they are back to business as they visit St. Albans in the League.
Thurrock: Blackmore, Clark, Flynn, Swaine (71, Lettejallow), Paine, Orilonishe, Spencer, Docker, Hughes, Stadhart (84, McLeish), Bryant (90, Araba) Subs not used: Hussein, Gilbert
Welling: S Andrews, Johnson, Braham-Barrett, Cobbs (55, Quinn), G Andrews, Chappell, White (55, Green), Blackburn, Healy (59, Martin), Pinnock, Smith Subs not used: McEntegart, Turner