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Tuesday 21st October – Braintree 1 – 2 Thurrock
Thurrock gained an important three points with a hard fought victory at Essex rivals Braintree Town.
Early on it looked like Thurrock might be in trouble as Braintree pressed and the home side had a goal disallowed in the 8th minute after an offside decision went in Thurrock’s favour. The home side continued to dominate and only a fantastic save by debutant keeper Joe Woolley denied Braintree.
Thurrock did start to come into the game and another debutant Danny Hart, on loan from Barnet, hit the side netting after an excellent build up. However, Braintree continued to push and Woolley once again saved Thurrock after Braintree had been two on one with Matt Paine.
The home side took the lead after 32 minutes with Moran heading into the goal after Woolley had misjudged a free kick. This only spurred Thurrock into action and Leon McKenzie thundered home a close range header three minutes later to bring the scores level. The Fleet then started to dominate and Rob Swaine’s volley went just wide after an excellent Mark Wright delivery. Minutes later Kenny Clarke had the ball in the net but the goal was chalked off after a foul by Swaine.
The second half started well for the visitors with McKenzie adding a second goal after a great flick from David Bryant. McKenzie used fantastic strength to see off the defender and powered a shot home from 15 yards. The lead was nearly doubled on the hour when unselfish play by Bryant left McKenzie with the goal gaping but he sliced his hat-trick chance wide.
Braintree were still in the game though and should have equalised on 68 minutes but sent a header wide. After 72 minutes Bryant went clear but was stopped by a magnificent challenge as he was just about to pull the trigger. The home side dominated the last 15 minutes but had two goals chalked off, one for offside and one for a foul on Woolley and contrived to miss a sitter with less than 2 minutes on the clock.
Thurrock held on a for a deserved win with Leon McKenzie edging the man of the match award from the outstanding Matt Paine.
*Report written by thurrockboy – thank you