AVELEY deservedly took three very welcome Ryman Premier points to move off the foot of the table at the expense of the visiting Robins, whose season is in decline.
Aside from the opening five minutes Millers were always the dominant side and during the whole evening, their keeper Dave McCartney didn’t have a save to make that was worthy of the name reports the Thurrock Enquirer.
Not that visiting stopper Craig Ross was particularly overworked either, with both sides struggling to add fluency to their honest endeavour as goalscoring opportunities were at a premium.
Both sides benefitted from the leniency of referee Rob Hyde, though many would say he showed common sense in his judgements on the few challenges that caused offence on a night generally devoid of passion, except for home centre-back Tony Russell who drove his side on throughout the night by word and actions, winning many challenges and battling right to the end, his performance summed up with one towering header to clear danger as the game drifted into added time.
The goal that Aveley’s endeavour merited came five minutes before half time. Tamer Tuna was the creator, forging down the left flank before crossing into the path of Sherwin Stanley who got two bites of the cherry as Ross blocked one attempt on his goal but was stranded as the ball cannoned over him on the rebound.
Aveley continued to be the leading force in the second half and might have added to their tally ten minutes from the restart when Tuna was through on goal but his touch was very poor and the ball bounced away from him to be gratefully gathered by Ross.
Danny Slatter, another Aveley player to show constant enthusiasm for the task, came close to doubling the lead with a strike from distance that clipped the crossbar.
It looked, for a while, as if one goal would have to do it, but Millers got the breathing space they wanted thanks to a fine solo goal from Orlando Smith with 20 minutes remaining. He picked the ball up, shimmied across the edge of the box and then unleashed a fine shot past the outstretched dive of Ross.
It was a moment of real class on a night when endeavour rather than excellence came to the fore but Aveley will care little about that and will hope that the hard fought, but well deserved points will kick-start their battle against relegation.