East Thurrock 2 v 1 Ware

Bill Robinson reports from Rookery Hill…..

The weather relented and thanks to the efforts of the ground staff the game went ahead, although the pitch was soft it held up well. The Rocks needing to gain three points to consolidate their play off ambitions and the visitors struggling at the other end of the table it seemed that all would go well.

Ware came to Rookery Hill not wanting to be fodder for another play off hopeful and if they had finished off some of their moves more competently then the outcome may have been different.

The first half was a scrappy affair with both defences being exposed, but the poor finishing by both sides kept the score line blank until just before the break.

The opening goal came from Sam Higgins, bagging his 22nd goal of the season, it came just sixty seconds after Kye Ruel had narrowly missed the best chance, a deep cross came over from the right and Ruel rose well but just failed to get a clean header away and the bar missed by inches.

From the goal kick Thurrock regained possession and once again attacked down the right flank, the cross was too deep, but this time Ruel pulled the ball back into the penalty area where Higgins collected the ball, turned his marker and side footed home from 16 yards.

The second half saw The Rocks have a purple patch just on the hour, when they could have scored four times in four minutes, with Sam Barry, Ben Wood and Kye Ruel all going close.

Ware still looked dangerous and when they were awarded a dubious free kick on the left just yards from the penalty area, it was keeper Richard Wray who pulled off a fantastic save to keep Thurrock in front.

Thurrock finally got their second goal in the 74th minute, the move started deep in their own half and the ball was knocked out wide, when the cross came in it was only partially cleared and eventually found the feet of Sam Barry, who calmly drove the ball into the net to surely give Thurrock the win.

Steve Sheehan and Sam Higgins both had chances to kill the game off but were denied and with six minutes on the clock Ware had another free kick on the edge of the box, the ball went long and was headed back across the goal to Marshall, he looked to be in an offside position as he tapped the ball in from one yard out, but both the referee and linesman awarded the goal.

The remaining minutes seemed frantic at times as Ware threw players forward, but The Rocks held out comfortably and collected three valuable points.

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