East Thurrock 3 v 2 Great Wakering Rovers

EAST Thurrock extended their lead at the top of the table with a battling performance at Rookery Hill, twice coming from behind.

They put the early pressure on their visitors and in the second minute had claims for a penalty waved away after Kris Newby felled in the box.

Wakering posted their first real threat from an eighth minute corner when Marc Gorbell rose and headed over. Moments later neat interplay opened up the opportunity for Ross Wall who made no mistake from ten yards.

A spell of Rocks pressure followed but it was Wakering who came close to the second goal when John Bradley was just inches away from getting the touch to a killer cross with the net waiting.

At the other end Joe Keith had an opening but shot straight at Louis Goodwin Green.

The equaliser came on 23 minutes when a deep cross from Keith, following great play from Reiss Gilbey, caused problems in the six yard box and despite some scrambled defending and a good save from Goodwin Green at close range, Newby final baged the ball into the roof of the net.

Rocks might have had a second moment later when Lewis Sparrow attempted a volleyed clearance from a Newby cross and smashed the ball against his own woodwork.

Piers Wixon. Making his debut up front for Rocks, then warmed Goodwin Green’s palms with a fierce drive that the keeper was grateful to gather at the second attempt.

Newby was causing big problems for the visiting defence and after he had been dragged to the ground by Dan Trenkel, Keith struck a free kick inches wide of the upright.

More Rocks pressure followed bt they were unable to create a clear opening and Wakering rode their luck to take the lead again on 37 minutes when Trenkel turned in a crowded box and looped a super strike into the top corner.

Rocks should have equalised four minutes before half time when a fine, flowing move ended with Ruel slipping the ball into the path of Cornhill but with the goal at his mercy he side-footed wide.

Moments before the break and athletuic combination of keeper Richard Wray and Ben Wood keep out another storming Great Wakering breakaway.

There was almost a dramatic start to the second half when, frm the first attack, Gorbell sliced the ball against his own post.

The visitors luck finally ran out in the sixth minute of the half when Newby whipped in a low cross and Cornhill slid in to guide the ball home.

Minutes later neat play created the opportunity for Ruel to get a strike at goal but he fired straight at Goodwin Green.

Lovely play set up Cornhill for a 64th minute header but again the ball was directed straight at a grateful Rovers keeper.

At the other end Trenkle tested Wray with a header, but it wouldn’t have counted anyway as he was offside but it was an indication of an improved passage of play from the visitors but they were to go behind for the first time on 68 minutes when Wixon laid the ball wide for Ryan Sammons who embarked on a surging run and slammed the ball low and hard past Goodwin Green.

Rovers always looked dangerous from set pieces and the home side were grateful to see Wray cling on to a header from Gorbell at full stretched when a great free kick was delivered into the box.

Ruel had the chance to finish the match off for Rocks with three minutes to go but scooped the ball wide of Goodwin Green and the post. Deep in added time he had another chance to finish things off, but was again wide of the target but it didn’t matter as the final whistle went soon after to secure Rocks’ eleventh successive league win.

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