East Thurrock Utd 4 v 1 Concord Rangers
A STUNNING goal from Sam Higgins sparked a revival for East Thurrock who had gone behind in Tuesday’s Ryman Premier derby and inspired his side to lay a number of demons against their near neighbours and long time bogey club.
In the end it proved to be an emphatic victory for the home side who edged another place up the table as they recorded their ninth successive victory in all competitions reports the Thurrock Enquirer.
The visitors made marginally the better start as both sides traded tentative raids and it was Rangers who were to take the lead after ten minutes when Tony Stokes drilled a low ball into the box which was touched home from close range by Ashley Miller.
Rocks didn’t come up with a real chance until the 22nd minute when a free kick was delivered to the far post where Simon Peddie will surely feel he ought to have done better with a header that went back cross goal but also over the bar.
However, it was just two minutes later that the home side got on level terms, winning a free kick in a central position around 23 yards from goal. The Concord defence looked well set by somehow Higgins (pictured) found a vital gap with a stunning low drive that seemed to gather pace as it zipped past leaden-footed keeper Andy young.
Rocks ought to have taken a lead into the break when a fine flowing move just before the interval ended at the feet of Greg Cohen who had time to take a touch and pick his spot but fired wide of the upright.
Rocks were beginning to hit they rhythm and didn’t let the half time rest knock them out of their stride, pushing their visitors back o the resumption and gaining reward, albeit in somewhat strange circumstances on 57 minutes when Kye Ruel, who had gone to ground when chasing down a cross, somehow swivelled on the deck and hooked the ball past Young, who was also off his feet.
And Ruel was to add Rocks’ third three minutes later, headed home from just a few inches out after defender Ryan Tafazolli had recklessly headed Cohen’s well delivered corner back into the danger zone.
To their credit, Concord pushed men forward in search of a means to get back into the game and centre-back Steve King proved an able asset up front.
However, despite a few goalmouth scrambles and a couple of reaction stops from keeper Richard Wray, Rocks held firm – with the closest Rangers were to come being a flashing angled drive from Tony Stokes that was only fractions away from the target and took a touch from a defender as it flew past the upright.
And it was to be the home side who had the last word in added time when Ruel did superbly well to recover a lost cause on the right flank and when he clipped the ball into the box Higgins kept his cool to half volley the ball past Young for his ninth goal in six matches, taking his tally to 18 for a season that saw him miss Rocks’ opening 14 fixtures through injury.