FA Trophy 1st Qualifying Round
East Thurrock United 1 v 1 Dover Athletic
TWO deflected strikes late in the second half resulted in Saturday’s FA Trophy draw at Rookery Hill.
Thomas Murphy opened the scoring on 79 minutes, when his strike from inside the area caught a Rocks defender and looped over the keeper reports The Thurrock Enquirer.
Three minutes from time the Rocks responded as Dave Bryant’s strike was diverted by one of numerous defender’s legs and wrong-footed the goalkeeper.
Some missed chances and scuffed attempts by both sides saw the first half finish goalless.
There was a high tempo throughout the game which lead to a number of scrappy exchanges in the middle of the park and a lack of quality on the ball, particularly in front of goal.
The Whites edged the possession as they continued to probe the Rocks’ back line looking to break the deadlock and they had two strong chances to take the lead, both coming from corners but ultimately ending with headers soaring over the bar.
The Rocks also had a few chances and finished the first half strongly after changing formation from threeup front to a more rigid 4-4-2. The second half continued in a similar sense to the first, with Dover applying early pressure and the Rocks defending deep in there own half. The whites had another couple of opportunities from corners and always looked dangerous in the air, but again the final touch was missing.
On 68 minutes Sam Mott made a tremendous one handed save, denying substitute Michael Bahare from giving the visitors the lead, but Dover continued to press however and got their reward on 79 minutes though there was a degree of controversy in the build up to the goal.
The change had an immediate impact as the Rocks gained more possession and posed a threat going forwards. The best opportunity of the half for the home side fell to Ryan Sammons. The full-back playing in a more advanced right midfield position just lacked the necessary composure to finish, dragging his shot well wide across the goal.
The referee had stopped play for an injury but instead of returning the ball to East Thurrock, who were in possession, Dover booted the ball deep into the corner then pressured the defence and the ball was played towards goal and Murphy’s strike took the decisive deflection.
The Rocks responded almost immediately pushing bodies forward and pinning the Whites back and eventually scoring on 87 minutes to earn the Rocks a Tuesday trip to Dover.