East Thurrock United 4 v 0 Leiston
THE Rocks showed their true potential as they put four past league leaders Leiston on Tuesday night.
To be fair, it might well be on of this leagues this year, where no team may dominate and so could end up with a very exciting finale.
The visitors were impressive but found themselves up against a committed and disciplined home side whose work ethic was out of the top drawer.
They showed fluency from the off and in a fast-paced opening to the game matched their visitors and produced the first opening of the match on nine minutes when Lewis Smith got the chance to shoot but fired the ball straight at keeper Alex Rossis.
A great ball from midfield from George Craddock opened the door soon after for Sam Higgins but Rossis stood tall, forced him wide and got a touch to push the prolific striker’s close range effort wide.
Higgins did get the ball in the net on 33 minutes but his close range effort was adjudged offside. However, there was no doubt three minutes later when he stepped across a bouncing ball and smashed a sensational shot from all of 30 yards that left Rossis rooted to the spot as the net bulged behind him.
Leiston ended the half pushing for an equaliser but though there were a couple of hairy moments in the home defence, including a shot from John Sands that rattled the bar and another effort from the same player that flew high and wide, Rocks were good value for their half time lead.
The second half saw them pick up the tempo but though they were grateful for keeper Lucas Lidakevicius for a diving stop to keep out a strike from Leon Ottley-Gooch they looked comfortable and extended the lead just before the hour when Smith cut inside and crashed home a shot that took a deflection to fly past Rossis.
Six minute later Smith worked another opening and this time needed no help to hit the back of the net with a low drive from the edge of the box.
Leiston never gave up and their quick-passing style showed why they are top of the table but they were unable to claw their way back into the game though had a close range effort not been ruled out for offside and sub Joe Francis not blazed over from an acute angle things might have been different.
As it was ,they were always chasing a game that was ultimately put beyond them when another great Rocks move ended with Higgins lashing the ball home five minutes from time.