Friday, May 24, 2024

Football: Rocks march closer and closer to play-offs

Ryman Premier

Hampton and Richmond 0 v 3 East Thurrock United

ROCKS maintained their surge towards the play-offs with an emphatic victory against Hampton who, after the opening 15 minutes, were always second best to their energetic visitors reports The Thurrock Enquirer.

The sides were well matched through the opening exchanges and Hampton came close when an attempted clearance by James Lawson sliced goalwards and he was grateful to see it bounce off defender Tom Stephen and away to safety.

On a slippery pitch that left both sides struggling to get a grip, Rocks eventually mastered the conditions and began to press with some determination.

They began to mount sustained pressure and came close when Lawson met a fine ball from Sam Higgins with an angled shot that brought an instinctive close range save from Rodney Chiweshe.

And they broke the deadlock on 28 minutes when Higgins produced a magnificent cross that split the defence and Chiweshe and was perfectly placed for Sam Higgins, who had made up yards with a determined run, to smash the ball home.

It took just three minutes for Rocks to extend the lead and Collins, who was having a huge influence on the match, collected a pass from Lawson and cut inside to lash a trademark low angled drive past Chiweshe and inside his far post.

The lead was retained comfortably and though Hampton flickered briefly in the opening minutes of the second half, when Gary Hollowat shot past a post, the game was sealed on 52 minutes when Higgins picked up the ball wide and delivered a stinging low cross to the near post. Chiweshe got down to gather but the ball slipped through his hands and rolled off his body over the line.

From then on Rocks simply controlled the game, introducing sub L’hereaux Menga who gave the home back line a torrid time. His work ethic summed up Rocks, a united, cohesive unit who have risen up the table with a string of exemplary away performances of which this was typical.

With five matches left and their destiny in their own hands Rocks boss John Coventry may well have to rethink his end of season targets and start to think about the play-offs.

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