Saturday sees the latest instalment in the oldest local derby in Thurrock when Blues entertain near neighbours Tilbury at Parkside in a Bostik league encounter . For many years the contest was played out on Xmas Day with the return match on Boxing Day producing huge crowds of rival supporters between the only two senior clubs in the Borough. Blues have enjoyed the lions share of success particularly in recent years in the North Division winning five and losing three of the eight matches since the 2010/11 season. In the last meeting in July this year Blues ran out 3-2 winners in the annual Stan Veness Trophy, our own Clark Bogard featured in goal for the Dockers on that occasion.
The Dockers have experienced a disappointing start to their league campaign currently lying in eighteenth place with seven points from their ten games. Manager Joe Keith though has made some very astute signings with quality players like ex East Thurrock striker Lewis Smith, Mitchell Gilbey from Canvey Island and Kris Newby , with these players on board the Dockers should soon see themselves climb out of the relegation zone. Smith is a proven goalscorer at a higher level and is currently their leading goalscorer with four goals. Their last game In midweek saw them go down 3-0 to promotion chasing Bowers & Pitsea.
Blues go into the game having lost their five game unbeaten league run after a disappointing defeat at big spending Coggeshall Town last Saturday, a promising first half display was marred by a very poor second half eventually losing 4-0. Blues fans though will have been boosted by the return of hotshot striker Kieran Bishop after a brief sojourn at Coggeshall Town and could be making his home debut alongside Tommy Wade signed for a second time from Hertford Town.
The corresponding fixture last season saw Blues run out 3-1 winner with goals from Ade Cole , Kieran Bishop and Ryan Mahal, Ryan Melaugh replying for the Dockers.
The scene is set then for what will be a keenly contested game , the Dockers will be looking to get their season back on track and Blues eager to put behind them last weeks defeat.