East Thurrock 1 v 2 Heybridge Swifts

HEYBRIDGE upset the league leaders with a battling display and a great performance from keeper Ollie Morris Sanders reports the Essex Enquirer

There was a tentative start to the match with neither side keen to press forward, but East Thurrock gradually began to take the ascendency and on ten minutes Kris Newby received the ball on the edge of the box.

His first shot was charged down and he was fouled as he tried a second time. But at the third time of asking, from the free kick, he drilled the ball low into the net despite the despairing dive of Morris Sanders.

That sparked a period of dominance by Rocks but they found Morris Sanders in fine form and he pulled off a series of excellent saves.

Rocks lost top scorer Newby to injury in the closing stages of the first half and while they were still down to ten men, Swifts mounted their first real threat and Chris Bryan scrambled the ball against the foot of the post.

Heybridge made a bright start to the second half, but were again grateful to Morris Sanders for a fine one-handed save from Gilbey.

And the improvement in Swifts’ play was rewarded on 59 minutes when Bryan ran at the defence and the ball fell to Russell Pond who crashed home a superb shot from distance.

And things got even on 70 minutes when Luke Callender scrambled the ball home.

The goal spurred Rocks forward and sub Leroy Huggins was unlucky to see a shot deflected then fellow replacement Hakeem Araba picked out the keeper with the goal at his mercy.

Rocks had the ball in the net through Huggins in added time when he forced the ball home after a rare mistake by Morris Sanders but he was adjudged offide.

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