FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round
East Thurrock Utd 4 v 4 Chelmsford City
EAST THURROCK played their part in a FA Cup classic as they went down on penalties to Conference South outfit, Chelmsford City at Rookery Hill.
The Rocks came out like a rocket. From the kick off, Kye Ruel got into a good position on the left, nudged the ball to Sam Higgins whose shot danced across the line. The ball was retrieved back, the Clarets failed to clear and Sam Higgins six yards out banged the ball home.
The Rocks looked a stride faster than Chelmsford and the Clarets cause wasn’t helped when they lost David Bridges after eight minutes but that gave player manager Dave Rainsford an opportunity to come on and impose himself.
In the 18th minute, Anthony Cook received the ball on the right. The Rocks put two men on him but he still managed to put a cross in which saw the ball hit the bar.
Clarets one touch football saw them maintain a hold in the Rocks half. A 21st minute corner saw the keeper Riley make a complete hash of it. The ball came out, a scramble ensued in the box, Riley lost it again and Robbie Edmans was able to punt it home from close range.
Claret could have made it 2-1 a minute later but to be fair, Riley produced a marvellous save from a curling Edmans shot.
It was the Rocks time now to settle again but the Clarets kept bombarding the area with high balls and angled crosses. It felt like it was a matter of time.
Once again, Anthony Cook produced a marvellous cross, Edmans headed and it was just wide. But at the other end, Hakem Araba also had a glancing header that went wide as well.
Chelmsford soon made it 2-1 in the 48th minute, when once again, the irresistible Cook produced another fine cross for Robbie Edmans to bundle the ball into the net.
Rocks now had to show what they were made of and there plan seemed to be to try and stretch the game. In the 57th minute, Reiss Gilbey sent over a free kick that the Clarets scrambled away for a corner. They were edging back into the game.
Kenny Clark had the ball in the back of the net but it was disallowed.
Kris Newby fired a shot that went just over the bar as they continued to press whilst Tom Stephens almost sneaked a header in at the far post from a corner.
In the 80th minute, Clarets keeper Stuart Searle produced a marvellous save as Hakem Araba rose high on the far post to head but Searle tipped it over the bar.
East Thurrock had a strong shout for a penalty when a Clarets hand batted the ball away in the area.
Rocks poured the pressure on and they go their just desserts when a flowing move deep into injury time saw Sam Collins sweep the ball home.
East Thurrock began extra time as they had done in the first half and sure enough another expansive move saw Sam Higgins score in the 95th minute.
You can be sure that any John Coventry team will be fit and the Rocks seemed full of running as they continued to attack.
Unfortunately, once again, Jamie Riley made another ricket as he punched thin air in the 101st minute leaving sub Donovan Simmonds the simplest of tasks to equalise.
The Rocks did not give up. Sam Hall earned a free kick in the 105th minute; Gilbey’s kick floated over but no-one was able to connect.
Both teams continued to attack. Jamie Riley produced a great smothering save when Anthony Cook was free six yards out and Searle did the same at the other end, palming down a Kris Newby shot.
But the winner came in the 115th minute when former Rock, Max Cornhill headed in at the far post from a corner.
The Clarets were overjoyed but it didn’t last long as East Thurrock scored in the 120th minute when Kris Newby scored from 25 yards out.
And so it went to penalties and East Thurrock never recovered after Kris Newby missed the first. Anthony Cook scored the winning penalty as they went through to the 1st round to meet Colchester United at Melbourne Stadiu.
East Thurrock Utd: Riley J, Stephen T, Sammons R (Hall M 74), Peddie S, Harrison S, Parmenter R (Collins S 67), Newby K, Gilbey R, Higgins S, Araba H, Ruel K.
Subs not used: Keith J, Gorbell M, Wray R.
Searle S, Brindley R, Plamer A, Miller J, Clark K, Bridges D (Rainford D 9), Cook A, Edmans R (Simmonds D 80), Slabber J, Cornhill M, Calver C (Welsh I 100)
Subs not used: Bondon N,Tann A,Whiteley W, Warden T.