FA Trophy: Higgins holds Hampton in hard-earned draw

FA Trophy Round 2

East Thurrock 1 v 1 Hampton and Richmond

THE ROCKS came back to force a replay in a highly entertaining FA Trophy match at the Rookery Hill.

East Thurrock looked in fine fettle from the start as you would expect from a team that had won nine in a row!

The first corner of the game came in the 8th minute after Sam Collins shot was neatly turned past the post by the keeper. And Sam Higgins went very close from the corner with a glancing header.

Hampton scored with their first chance of the game when Hampton advanced into the area and his shot was deflected off a Rocks defender and in.

Rocks beavered away against the Beavers and had a wonderful chance in the 18th minute but they dithered far too much in front of goal.

It was all Rocks: Higgins hit the post, Kye Ruel shot was meekly palmed away by the keeper but they could not break them down.

The rest of the half was played out in midfield. Hampton never threatened but for all their skill, the Rocks just couldn’t penetrate the Beavers defence.

Kris Newby’s shot just went past the far post on the stroke of half time.

The second half continued in a similar vein as Rocks continued to dominate. They had what looked like a fair shout for a penalty when Kye Ruel appeared to have his legs taken from under him but the infallible referee, Mr Breakspear waved the game on.

Sam Higgins had a lovely shot tipped over the bar by the keeper and it looked as only a matter of time before Rocks equalised.

The pressure increased as Rocks looked for a way in. A wonderful cross field ball found Sam Higgins but his shot was deflected for a corner and once again the chance from the corner went wide.

Covo rang the changes as Matt Hall and Petrit Elbi came on for Kye Ruel and Sam Collins.

Again, Kris Newby produced a great shot from 25 yards that was heading for the top corner until the keeper turned it over the bar.

But just when the Rocks fans though it wasn’t their day, Sam Higgins reacted to a shot by Sam Peddie at close range to slam the ball home from three yards.

Rocks were now going for the win. The pace was frenetic.

A rare Hampton attack saw them hit the post. At the other end, Petrit Elbi showed great close control but the ball went wide.

East Thurrock: Wray R, Sammons R, Stephens T, Wood B, Peddie S, Gilbey R, Newby K, Higgins S, Collins S, Ruel K, Cohen G

Subs not used: Elbi P, Hall M, Hewitt R, Riley J, Scott L

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