East Thurrock 1 v 0 Bedford Town
FA Cup 1st Prelim Rnd
EAST THURROCK did just enough to carve out a victory by beating Bedford Town 1-0 in the 1st preliminary round of the FA Cup at Rookery Hill.
Bedford should have opened the scoring in the 5th minute when Callum Lewis stroked the ball from inside the area; Richard Wray palmed it way and Rocks were lucky there was no-one there to stroke it home.
The early pressure was all Rocks with Reiss Gilbey and Kris Newby plugging down the flanks but as time went on in the half too many cross-field balls went wide much to boss John Coventry’s frustration.
Rocks clearly felt they had the beating of Bedford but lacked a certain zip.
Rocks best chance came in ther 31st minute when Petrit Elbi produced a fine cross which Kris Newby got hold of but found the ball bouncing right over the bar.
To be fair these were difficult conditions but that did not excuse a nasty challenge from James Faulkener for which he received a yellow card.
Once again Bedford should have gone ahead as Faulkner found himself free on the left. He sidefooted the ball and once again keeper Wray managed to palm the ball away. Faulkener followed up but the ball went wide.
Bedford immediately came out of the traps in the second half and many felt Rocks best phase had passed. If anything was going to happen for Rocks then it looked like coming through Kye Ruel.
Once again, Bedford blasted over when it was easier to score.
But fair play, East Thurrock took the lead when Albanian Petrit Elbi floated a ball over the keeper and into the net in the 64th minute.
Bedford brought on their subs but couldn’t find any fluency. However, Jermaine Hall did not give up and continued to carve out chances.
Ruel should have wrapped it up but his 86th minute strike went straight at the keeper. But the single goal was enough to see Rocks through to Mondays draw.
East Thurrock Utd
Richard Wray, Ryan Sammons, Sam Collins, Simon Peddie, Rickie Hayles, Ben Wood, Kris Newby, Kye Ruel, Petrit Elbi, Stanley Mugou, Reiss Gilbey
Subs not used: Jake Cass, Alan Mabayuku, Tom Stephen, Michael Rankin, Neil Richmond, Greg Cohen, Jamie Riley