Vanarama National League South
East Thurrock United 1 v 1 St Albans City
Report by David Osborne
Rocks draw again
EAST Thurrock and St Albans shared the spoils in another draw at the Future Fuel Stadium and the home side may feel they were unlucky not to have come away with all 3 points after conceding an equaliser to substitute Sam Merson’s goal, with his first touch of the game.
East Thurrock had a good chance early on as Reece Harris crossed the ball in for Tom Wraight, but Wraight was unable to get his header on target, sending the ball high and wide.
Sam Higgins then had another chance in the 9th minute, as he was found in behind the defence just inside the box, but he was unable to get his shot off before the visiting keeper smothered the ball.
St Albans first effort fell to Louie Theophanous after some great interplay between him and Junior Morais, but the big number nine’s strike was well saved by Lukas Lidakevicius.
The Rocks then replied with their best effort of the first half and really should have been a goal up, but Joe Ellul was just unable to keep his strike down, hitting the ball against the bar from close range.
After the break East Thurrock came out and looked dominant for the first 20 minutes and their efforts were finally rewarded on 68 minutes as Sam Higgins scored from the edge of the box, drilling the ball low into the bottom corner.
The Saints equalised in the 75th minute from a brilliantly worked move that resulted in a close range tap in for Merson, who had entered the fields just 30 seconds before. Theophanous and Morais both deserve credit for their build up play leading to the finish.
East Thurrock will be disappointed that they were not out of sight before the equaliser came as they missed some very clear chances either side of half time, but they will also be satisfied with a well earned point against a strong and organised side.
East Thurrock United: Lukas Lidakevicius, Lee Burns, Ryan Sammons, Michael Clark, Joe Ellul, Kane Ferdinand, Reece Harris (Harry Honesty 83), Ben Marlow, Sam Higgins, Joe Gardner (Ben Wood 65), Tom Wraight.
Scorer – Sam Higgins (68′)
St Albans City: James Russell, George Casey (Sam Merson 74), Tom Bender, Lee Chappell, Ben Martin, Josh Hull, Ben Herd, Scott Thomas, Louis Theophanous, Junior Morias, David Noble
Scorer – Sam Merson (74′)
The result leaves East Thurrock in eighth place, just seven points off the play offs.
They return to league action away at Wealdstone on December 3rd.