EAST Thurrock deservedly emerged victorious from a somewhat uninspiring Bank Holiday fixture against Waltham Forest at Cricklefield to go second in the Ryman One North.
Rocks started the brighter of the two teams and were rewarded in the third minute when Kye Ruel broke down the wing and slipped the ball to Kris Newby, whose inch perfect cross was headed home by Neil Richmond.
The visitors looked the likelier to score with several quick flowing breaks going unrewarded. Despite getting into several promising position Forest’s final ball often let them down.
After their poor first half performance Waltham Forest threatened more after the break and went close on 50 minutes after Marquin Smith struck a half-volley from 30 yards that sailed past the post. Richard Wray was called into action after Luke Stanley latched on to a flick on, smartly smothering the ball.
East Thurrock continued to look dangerous on the break and on 58 minutes Max Cornhill delivered a telling ball that Jimmy Webb only had to head into an empty net, but he chose to go for an extravagant volley and the chance was lost.
Minutes later the Rocks broke again, and Newby’s cross put Webb in for another great opportunity but instead of turning the ball into an empty net he fluffed the chance. The ball was only half cleared though and bounced up with Cornhill lunging to push a diving header just past the post.
Webb proved he was a better provider than scorer on 75 minutes with a fine cross that Richmond met. Again the ball was half cleared by Ruel was on hand to pick his spot and calmly place the ball into the back of the net.
In stoppage time chance after chance followed for Rocks. Subs Martin Llewellyn and Conor Mead combined well and both had chances, but keeper Jason Willis pulled off some good saves to keep the scoreline down.
After their exertions in the FA Cup on Saturday, it was an efficient performance from the Rocks who, in truth, were rarely threatened by Forest and the way they went about their business on a difficult pitch, against opposition who weren’t afraid to put a foot, elbow or fist into a challenge bodes well for the season ahead.