Rocks back to earth with a bump

League Cup: East Thurrock Utd 2 v 3 Redbridge

TUESDAY night’s Ryman Alan Boon Cup tie at Rookery Hill was a case of ‘after the Lord Mayor’s Show’ for the home side, who twice threw away a lead against a second string Redbridge reports the Thurrock Enquirer.

On Saturday more than 1,200 people packed Rookery Hill to see the Rocks in FA Cup first round action. Just 71 were present to see this game against the Ryman league’s other FA Cup first round heroes – who face a replay against Oxford City next week.

Redbridge, with an Essex Senior Cup tie on Wednesday, fielded a much weakened side and in the opening exchanges were pushed by Rocks slick passing.

It was one way traffic and no surprise when Marc Gorbell got on the end of Matt hall’s cross to head the Rocks ahead after just six minutes.

Other chances came and went, most notable Sam Higgins firing across the face of goal and debutant signing David Knight rattling the crossbar with a free kick.

Redbridge rarely threatened and even when a bad mistake by Gorbell let in Mitrell Das keeper Jamie Riley came up with a good one-on-one save.

In general, though they dominated possession, Rocks were over ambitious, with individuals trying too much rather than opting for the easy pass and a tepid start to the second half saw Redbridge get back into the game when Stuart Hepburn headed home from a 56th minute set piece.

Rocks were back in front just two minutes later when Petrit Elbi’s mazy run was only stopped by a handball as he finally crossed after weaving into the box and he took responsibility for the spot-kick, slamming the ball into the corner of the net.

That ought to have been the catalyst for Rocks to push on but it was Redbridge who began to dominate and they drew level from the penalty spot on 79 minutes through Ryan Wade.

The winner in what was becoming an increasingly fractious game came two minutes later when sub Jack Leachman rammed a free-kick in off the underside of the crossbar from a free-kick, with the assistant ref adjudging the ball had cross the line before bouncing out.

Rocks finally realised what was happening and put some urgency into their play but it was too little, to late and though Kris Newby came close with an added time slide at the far post, Redbridge held on to win a home tie against Thamesmead in the next round.

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