Ryman Div One North
Ware 3 v 2 East Thurrock Utd
AN unsatisfactory end to their Ryman One North championship winning campaign by East Thurrock who fielded a side of squad players and youngsters and paid the penalty for a lack of application and concentration – compounding it with the dismissal of midfielder Stanley Muguo – whose pending three game ban poses a problem for Rocks right at the start of their Premier League campaign next season reports the Thurrock Enquirer.
Muguo has been something of a midfield Colossus during Rocks’ run in to the title but his often suspect temperament let him down at Wodson Park.
He was just one of four regular first team picks to start this game as Rocks boss John Coventry ran the rule over his squad as he begins to plan his new campaign – and Muguo’s indiscipline will certainly throw a spanner in the works of his pre-season planning.
There had seemed little ill temperament from both sides in a scrappy opening on a difficult pitch devoid of grass in swathes and both struggled to settle into any consistent pattern of play in a game also interrupted by a gusty wind.
However, after several sallies at both ends, fans were treated to a burst of real action when Piers Wixon thumped in a fierce drive that was blocked by the home defence. Moment later, set up by good work from Mike Ramkin and Neil Richmond, the same player shot straight at keeper Obey Murefu, later to be acclaimed Ware fans’ player of the season.
At the other end, on 12 minutes, Davie Edmee broke free but his effort was well blocked by James Donovan and from the subsequent corner Chris Sergent got in a strike on goal that visiting keeper Richard Wray first fumbled then gathered at about the third attempt.
One time Rocks player Sam Berry then powered in a fierce swirling drive that rose just above the crossbar.
The deadlock was broken on 22 minutes when another of Rocks’ first team regulars, Joe Keith – completing a 100 per cent run alongside Wray of appearances – jinked his way along the edge of the box before firing in a shot that was blocked by a combination of defender and Murefu but Simon Peddie was on hand to prod the ball home and become an unlikely first goal scorer.
Ware did well to scramble away another couple of Rocks efforts and got their reward just before half time when Rocks went to sleep and allowed a counter attack that saw Mathew Mitchell seize the opportunity to deliver a well-placed lob that drifted over Wray into the net.
Rocks came out at the start of the second half looking as if they had received a roasting from boss Coventry and Ware’s defence was at its communal best to block a couple of pots at goal before they surged forward themselves and Ryan Wade evaded a couple of tackles in the box before tumbling to the ground. He is a player with a reputation for making the most of any opportunity to go to ground but in this instance there was no doubting the legitimacy of ref Tony
Goddard’s decision – nor the conviction with which Wade thumped home the spot kick.
Richmond had the ball in the back of Ware’s net soon after at the end of a flowing move but it was ruled out for offside.
However, home claims for another offside five minutes later were waved away when Piers Wixon was put through by a fine ball from Ryan Sammons and though the Rocks player at first appeared to have overrun the ball, he regathered himself and slotted a low shot across Murefu into the net.
To their credit, and representative of a strong run in to the end of the season, Ware bounced back strongly and a sublime ball from Mitchell laid the ball into the path of Wade and he made no mistake with his own angled shot.
Rocks began to sense it might not be their day and began to pick up the tempo, with strikers Sam Higgins and Hakeem Araba thrown into the mix to try and salvage at least a point but chances of that diminished when Muguo tried a trick to many in midfield and lost the ball, launching himself into a lunge into Wade that brought a triple salko with added condiments. He was given the first straight red of the season.
In the closing stages of the match East Thurrock finally galvanised themselves into an attacking force and Richmond had a couple of opportunities to at least secure a draw, but lacked conviction with his finish and Ware emerged with all the points and a platform from which to build next season.