Lowestoft 0 v 0 East Thurrock Utd
EAST Thurrock earned a battling Ryman Premier point at Love Lane, spending much of the match fighting a rearguard action.
Neither side could force a decisive goal, though Rocks had keeper Elliot Justham to thank for a couple of fine saves and the woodwork came to their aid deep into the second half.
Rocks gave a start to striker Sam Higgins for the first time since his hamstring tear sustained on 30 October but was to ply his trade most from wide positions as the visitors struggled to penetrate the heart of the home defence. Also back in the starting line-up was Spencer Harrison, displacing Simon Peddie at the heart of the defence.
The first real chance for Lowestoft came shortly after, with Robert Eagle stealing the ball off the right back Ryan Sammons and he picked out Jack Defty in the box, only for him to totally miss the ball, as the opportunity went begging.
Soon after Eagle was found by Erkan Okay’s pass and his testing shot forced Justham to turn it round the post.
East Thurrock’s best chance came just before the break when Liam Burgess screwed a shot wide.
The second half started with Lowestoft on the front foot and a weak back pass very nearly let Lee Smith in on goal but Rocks scrambled back and the chance was snuffled out.
Lowestoft were dominating possession and on more than one occasion Rocks had to frantically clear their lines as the ball pinged around their box.
East Thurrock were really struggling to get possession just after the hour they made a double change, Ross Parmenter and Kris Newby replacing Burgess and Jimmy Lawson.
However, the momentum remained with the Trawlerboys and a fine move ended with the ball being squared across the area, and after Lee Smith stepping over it cleverly, Chris Henderson fired goalwards but his shot struck the crossbar.
Rocks were holding on but had to survive six minutes of added time, during which Lowestoft’s Curtley Williams was somewhat hardshly sent off, apparently for stamping on kicking on an opponent, though it looked more like an innocent stumble.
Both sides can take pluses from the game, Rocks not least the performance of Higgins, who played 80 minutes and looked lively – and there was good news from Rookery Hill where centre back Steve Sheehan played part of the game against Great Wakering, the latest step in his recovery from a broken leg.