EAST THURROCK played out an entertaining 3-3 draw in the October heatwave at Rookery Hill against St Albans City.
Rocks should really have scored in the first minute as Kye Ruel was released, danced across the box but he hesitated for a fraction and his shot was smothered.
But Kye was on fire as he blazed a trail in the October sunshine. A shot in the 6th minute did not trouble the keeper but signalled the Rocks intent.
And that intent was converted into as goal when a speculative shot/cross by Kris Newby from thirty yards out sailed over the keepers net and in.
But the lead did not last for long. In the 15th minute, St Albans scored with a looping header to put the Hertfordshire outfit back in the game.
Both teams looked full of running despite the sweltering temperatures.
Kye Ruel sprang the offside trap in the 19th minute but his curled shot went wide.
Rocks reigned but couldn’t make them count. So it hurt in the 35th minute when St Albans went further ahead after Walker was brought down in the area and Dave Matthews put the penalty away.
St Albans were now in the ascendance and it was a question of what boss John Coventry would do next. Whilst he was thinking, St Albans went 3-1 ahead when Rob Haworth ended off a neat move to beat from close range.
Just before half time, Petrit Elbi nipped into get a goal back in what had been a very entertaining first half.
In the 52nd minute, the Rocks got back on level terms. It was simple really: Kye Ruel was in space in the area and just toe-poked it past the keeper.
Albans fought back. On the 55th minute, as they forced a fine save out of the Rocks keeper. At the other end, Reiss Gilbey once again went close.
St Albans had another two chances as it looked like both teams wanted to go for the win. Elbi and Newby combined well but could not find the final strike whilst again, at the other end, Richard Wray made another outstanding save.
In the 67th minute, Haworth turned the Rocks defenders inside out, he struck the ball low and hard but again keeper Wray was there to save his team.
It was great to see Sam Higgins come on as sub after injury however the whole pace of the game dropped as players wilted in the heat.
City’s Sean Shields hit the post in the 80th minute as they looked more likely to score.
Sam Higgins brought out a fine save from keeper Nicky Jupp and Kye Ruel should have done better with the rebound.
A draw was a fair result as both teams head to St Albans for the replay on Tuesday night at 7.45pm.