Leatherhead United 2 v 1 East Thurrock United
EAST Thurrock’s hopes of winning the title took a real dent when they lost 2-1 at Leatherhead on Saturday afternoon.
East Thurrock got off to the perfect start when they were awarded a penalty in the third minute when Ben Wood was up-ended in the box.
Sam Higgins thumped the spot kick home.
In many ways, the spring conditions seemed like perfect conditions for The Rocks as they aimed to keep up their promotion chase.
The Tanners had not won in a number of games and looked low on confidence as they made a number of unforced errors
But from out of nowhere, Leatherhead also scored from the penalty spot when Frannie Collin scored from the spot in the 13th minute.
The game became more even. Tanners were lucky not to see their keeper penalised when he "chested" the ball with his shoulder but perhaps it was a good call by the ref.
At the other end, former Grays Ath man, Matt Bodkin volleyed over the bar.
The Rocks looked like they would now have to be patient as they worked the angles and tried to find a way through. Sam Higgins had the ball in the net but he was offside.
A swift breakaway showed how dangerous the Tanners could be but they were also conceding too many free kicks.
East Thurrock came out of the traps in the second half as they pressed down the flanks and sent the balls in.
With Simon Peddie going off injured, the match became increasingly fractious.
Leatherhead hit the bar from a free kick as the game swung this way and that.
The Rocks looked strong on the break without truly threatening and you wondered if they were running out of ideas.
To be fair. Leatherhead were working hard, pressing down as well as creating their fair share of chances.
And in the 78th minute, they took it with another piece of hard pressing, Frannie Collins scored from the rebound.
The Rocks ran out of ideas and steam as the result meant they are now five points behind leaders Hampton.
East Thurrock United
Lidakevicius L, Peddie S, Ruel K (Morgan A 46) , Ellul J, Hayles R, Wood B, Higgins S, Walker J (Robson D 75), Marlow B, Wraight T , Newby K.
Subs not used: Hogan C, Craddock G