EAST THURROCK 0 HORNCHURCH 4
East Thurrock have six ex-Urchins in their squad, though only four of them played, Chris Wray, Steve Pashley, Sam Higgins and Joe Stevens. Steve West and Sam Berry are the other two, but were not in the squad. Jonathan Hunt, who plays in midfield and was recently signed from Potters Bar, was again included in the squad.
There are six senior teams in Thurrock, but only one in Havering, so it was perhaps not surprising that the away support comprised virtually the entire crowd. Urchins started well, when Wayne Gray chased a long ball down field and home keeper Chris Wray came out to kick away, conceding a corner in the process. Jamie Dormer floated the ball over and Wray punched it away for another corner. Dormer again took the kick and this time Wray punched the ball upfield where Wood completed the clearance. Rocks began to press forward and it took a well timed tackle by Ronnie Fletcher to keep out a dangerous run by Joe Stevens, whilst Elliot Styles twice headed away crosses as Rocks began to surge forward. Harry Cook twice found himself in a shooting position and on both occasions Darren Behcet made an excellent save.
Billy Coyne found Paul Shave with a long throw, but Paul’s shot was over the bar. Rocks continued to look dangerous and a dipping centre from Kris Newby forced Behcet into another fine diving save to keep the ball out. Dormer, Mark Janney and Gray all combined to work the ball upfield, and Janney’s goal bound cross was turned around the post by Newby for a corner. Dormer took the kick and Ronnie Fletcher rose above the defence but directed his header just inches over the bar. A shot from Higgins was deflected for a corner, and Fletcher cleared off the line, and Urchins came back with a centre from Coyne which Duffy deflected out for a corner. Dormer’s kick was caught by Wray, who found Newby, who made ground and centred for Higgins to fire in an excellent shot, which Behcet saved right on the line. Darren played the ball up field and WAYNE GRAY raced forward to drive the ball past the outrushing Wray to give Hornchurch the lead.
And a minute later Billy Coyne’s long throw reached WAYNE GRAY who turned on the edge of the area and hammered his shot into the net for the second goal. And it became three nil when Dormer played the ball through to WAYNE GRAY to ran on and guided his shot past Wray for this third goal in six minutes.
Rocks are near the top of their division had looked impressive in the first half, and they came forward again right after the interval, when Harry Cook headed over. Urchins could have scored again when Gray slipped the ball inside to Duane Jackman who then made a direct 50 yard run through the defence but hit his shot narrowly wide of the post. Rocks continued to come forward and Coot hit a shot just wide of the post. A Dormer free kick was then blocked and the ball ran loose to Jackman whose shot skimmed the post.
Behcet then played a long ball through to Jackman who made ground and forced Wray into another good save to keep the ball out of the net. The fourth goal followed when Michael Spencer made a long run down the left wing, and floated the ball into the goalmouth where WAYNE GRAY was waiting to head home his fourth goal of the match. Wayne then went close to getting a fifth from Billy Coyne’s long throw and Kris Lee then came on in place of Wayne Gray. Jon Green replaced Jackman and Jonathan Spencer came on for his playing debut. Michael Spencer, again playing in midfield, took a pass from Andy Tomlinson and made ground on the left before crossing for Kris Lee who returned the ball to Michael Spencer whose shot was well saved by Wray. Mark Janney was pulled down as he went through and Jamie Dormer’s free kick brought another excellent save from Chris Wray.
The four nil score line did not really reflect the effort the home side had put in, and they could have had a two goal lead but for two magnificent saves by Darren Behcet, though in the end the Urchins ran out comfortable winners.