Stuart Tuck took charge of the Hillians, with Ian Chapman absent due to illness. Skipper Gary Elphick, was another casualty of a virus that also had limited the the involvement of striker Conor Tighe at training in the week too. Tom Cadman was given his Hillians debut, and Pat Harding came into the side and led the line.
The game was very much in doubt early on, with a frozen part of the pitch, under the main stand, being an issue for the officials. Both sets of coaching staff were happy to play, and the Hillians volunteers used a number of ways to thaw the area including car exhausts & watering/forking, the pitch was eventually passed fit to play at 2.30pm.
The first chance of the afternoon fell to the visitors when Ronnie Winn hit the crossbar, after some good build up play down the right hand side. The deadlock was broken in the 31st minute, when Thurrock were awarded a foul just outside of the area. A quickly taken free kick saw Reece Morgan slot home after Di Barnardo failed to hold the initial shot. The Hillians responded with Tighe coming close from a free kick, but it was instead Thurrock who extended their lead, when on the stroke of half time, Lewis Spence’s unmarked header doubled the visitor’s lead.
The second half saw the Hillians start brightly, with good chances falling to Pat Harding, Smith Joseph and Tighe, before the later latched onto a through ball, from ASJ, and his trademark low finish saw the ball nestle in the far corner. The Hillians had worked hard to get back into the game, but poor defending saw the Essex side score two goals in two minutes, to virtually end all hopes of ‘Burgesstabul’. Forfana was introduced late in the second period, and his pace saw him get away from his marker, to net Hillians second of the afternoon. Insult was added to injury in the 87th minute, when Charlie Stimson’s audacious chip caught Tony Di Barnardo in no man’s land, and brought up the visitor’s fifth.
A disappointing defensive display from the Hillians, sees them remain 2 points adrift at the foot of the Bostik Premier League table, with 2 games in hand on nearest rivals, Harlow Town. The Tuesday, sees us welcome Enfield Town to the Green Elephants Stadium, with the Hillians desperate for points, you’d hope this could be the catalyst for Bostik Premier survival.