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Tuesday 2nd September – Thurrock 3 – 3 Hampton & Richmond
Hampton came from 3-1 down to deny Thurrock victory in an entertaining game at Ship Lane, which saw the home side grab their first point of the season.
Anyone watching Thurrock this season will continue to wonder how the Fleet have managed just 1 point out of a possible 21, and tonight supporters and players alike will be both frustrated at not notching up their first win of the season.
Thurrock took the lead in the 8th minute as Fola Orilonishe cut in from the right wing and curled a left footed shot into the far corner of the net, via the back of Ryan Lake.
In the 22nd minute, the lead was extended as superb football once again by new boy Jon Docker led to a corner. Docker whipped the ball in, which was headed back across goal by Orilonishe and smashed home by Che Stadhart.
Lawrence Yaku, who punished Thurrock in last season’s 5-0 drubbing, was the main threat for Hampton but despite having three almost one on one opportunities late in the first half, he could only shoot wide.
Hampton grabbed a goal in the 56th minute as John Scarborough headed home. But almost immediately Thurrock extended their lead as David Bryant’s shot deflected into the path of Stadhart who side footed home from 15 yards, much to the dispute of the Hampton players who thought he was offside.
For 65 minutes, it would be difficult to pick out individuals as Thurrock dominated possession with the entire eleven almost faultless. However, when Orlando Jeffrey headed home Yaku’s cross in an almost identical goal to the visitors first, the away side began to mount pressure on Thurrock’s tiring defence.
Firstly Yaku’s cross was almost diverted into his own goal by Rob Swaine, before Yaku found space behind the Fleet defence smashing home on 76 minutes after great football by Barrie Matthews and substitute Stephen Cooke.
With ten minutes remaining, Docker made way for Craig Hughes who had picked up a serious injury in pre-season against Tilbury, and the Fleet crowd were certainly pleased to have him back, applauding both Docker’s performance and Hughes’ return.
With the clock ticking down, Orilonishe’s superb 50 yard run was unrewarded as he shot wide as the game ended with both sides taking a share of the spoils.
It seems that lady luck is not shining on the Fleet at the moment, but with another impressive team performance, it doesn’t look like it will be long before they begin to turn near misses into wins. Next up is Hayes & Yeading away on Saturday 6th September.
Thurrock: Young, Clark, Flynn, Swaine (88, Anderson), Paine, Orilonishe, Spencer, Docker (80, Hughes), Lettejallow, Stadhart (88, McLeish), Bryant Subs not used: Hussein, Araba
Hampton & Richmond: Lovett, Harper, R Lake, Jeffrey, Scarborough (66, Cooke), Wells, S Lake, Fernandes, Hodges, Yaku (88, Wright), Matthews Subs not used: Tyson, Badu, Braithwaite –Booked: Fernandes, Hodges