East Thurrock United 1 v 2 Hampton & Richmond Borough
FOOTBALL is a results driven business and table-topping Hampton will have come away from Rookery Hill delighted with the outcome reports the Thurrock Enquirer.
Two early goals conceded as a makeshift Rocks side took time to gel proved ultimately decisive but after the opening ten minutes the home side dominated the game and will feel aggrieved to have got nothing from it.
Rocks won a free kick inside the first minute but Reiss Gilbey hit it tamely at keeper Rodney Chiweshe who released it quickly and Beavers raced the length of the pitch and worked an opening for James James Simmonds who calmly slotted it past Richard Wray with the clock
showing just 70 seconds.
And Rocks hit the self destruct button again in the eighth minute when debutant Bertie Brayley tried an extravagant pass that conceded possession as Rocks were attacking and another swift counter saw Charlie Moone break down the right and when he crossed, Joel Ledgister had time and space to control the ball, pick his spot and fire home from close range.
Rocks first attack of note came on 19 minutes when Sam Collins forged into the box. The ball broke to Hakeem Araba whose instinctive first time shot looked goalbound until Chiweshe stretched to finger-tip the ball over the bar.
Three minutes later Araba was unchallenged when he got on the end of cross from Gilbey but could only guide his header over the bar.
Araba was leading the line well in the absence of injured Sam Higgins (one of a number of Rocks first choice players on the sidelines) -having himself come through a late fitness test and incisive set piece deliveries from Brayley were causing Beavers problems, as were the
runs of Kye Ruel, who delivered a fine cross in the 34th minute which saw the goal gape for Gilbey but he forced the ball wide of the post.
Despite their atrocious start, Rocks were bossing the game, with Hampton a little lucky to see only Malvin Kamara cautioned for a succession of fouls as they held Rocks at bay. And Hampton might even have grabbed a third in the last minute of the half when Moone chased down a speculative long and flicked it past onrushing keeper Richard Wray and bore down on goal only to be foiled by a superb tackle from Simon Peddie.
Rocks made a bright start to the second half but it was Hampton who posed its first threat, Joe Turner whistling a strike from distance over the bar.
With a foul count in significant double figures against Hampton, ref Jairo Marin showed the inconsistency that drives people mad by booking Rocks skipper Reiss Gilbey, admittedly for a foul tackle but nothing worse than several that had gone before without recourse to a card.
Rocks were dominating the game but they couldn’t crack a resolute visiting defence – and the home side’s cutting edge was blunted on 72 minutes when Araba succumbed to the injury he was carrying, being replaced by Matt Hall.
At times the Beavers’ defending was frantic as Rocks played the ball around their box, but they were susceptible to counter-attacks as they pushed forward in increasing numbers and Turner vgot on the end of one such attack to shoot just wide.
The Rocks pressure continued and they finally got the goal their pressure merited when Ryan Sammons’ cross was placed past Chiweshe on the volley by Gilbey with four minutes remaining.
Chiweshe was to prove the saviour for his side in the last minute, diving to push Brayley’s fiercely driven free kick past the post. There was still time for Ruel to blaze the ball over the bar and several more goalmouth scrambles saw Rocks press for an equalising goal that just wouldn’t come – however much they might have deserved it.
Rocks will rue the lost points but at least they bounced back to give a morale-boosting performance in the face of their absentees and will have something to build on following the disappointments of recent displays.
Man of the Match: Bertie Brayley
Entertainment: THREE STARS
East Thurrock: Richard Wray, Ryan Sammons, Tom Stephen, Simon Peddie,
Marc Gorbell, Ross Parmenter, Kye Ruel, Reiss Gilbey, Hakeem Araba
(Matt Hall 67), Bertie Brayley, Sam Collins. Subs not used: Joe Keith,
James Cook, Michael Richardson, Jamie Riley.
Hampton & Richmond: Rodney Chiweshe, Malvin Kamara, Neil Jenkins, Alan
Brya, Max Hustwick, Tom Hickey, Joel Ledgister (Mo Bettameyl 79), Gary
Holloway, Charlie Moone (Tresor Kandol 84), James Simmonds, Joe
Turner. Subs not used: Mo Harkin, JJ Bates, , Anson Cousins.
Goals: East Thurrock: Gilbey)86). Hampton: Simmonds (2), Ledgister (8).
Cautions: Kamara (Hampton) 28 mins. Gilbey (East Thurrock 60).Simmonds
(Hampton)76, Hickey (Hampton) 89, Holloway (Hampton) 94, Ruel (East