Thursday, May 30, 2024

Football: Late strikes sink the Rocks

Vanarama National League South

Hungerford Town 3 v 0 East Thurrock United

TWO late strikes sunk East Thurrock at promotion-chasing Hungerford Town.

Goals by Louis Soares (35), Stefan Brown (74) and Rhys Tyler (89) secured three points for the Berkshire side.

A difficult afternoon for the Rocks down in Berkshire as their hastily re-shuffled defence came up against a Crusaders side on a ten game unbeaten league run which has carried them into a play-off spot.

Debutant defender Marvin Ekipiteta was signed from Concord Rangers during the week to partner Michael Clark at the back, but the plans were torn up late Friday afternoon when Michael was recalled by his parent club Leyton Orient, making the bench for the O’s trip to Mansfield yesterday.

For much of the first half Rocks were more than a match for their hosts, with Tom Wraight and Ade Osifuwa both going close, but once Hungerford had gone in front on 35 minutes the home side seldom looked like relinquishing their advantage.

Top scorer Higgins shot wide early in the second half, but Maindenhead always looked more likely to score and eventually made it 2-0 after 75 minutes, Stefan Brown converting a corner from James Clark. It was now just a question of the margin of victory. Mike Jones got in a good header which was well saved by Lidakevicius and Rhys Tyler fired well over with another chance before netting the third goal in injury time, when he raced through the Rocks defence from way out and drove the ball home.

In the end, the Rocks were indebted to their Lithuanian Under 21 international keeper Lukas Lidakevicius who was in impressive form and pulled off a string of fine saves to keep the score down to reasonable proportions.

Hungerford Town: George Legg, Rhys Tyler, Mike Jones, Jon Boardman, Matt Day (Capt), Luke Williams, James Clark, Ian Herring, Nat Jarvis (Warren Bentley 60), Stefan Brown, Louie Soares (Kallum Thomas 60)

Scorers – Louis Soares ( 35′) Stefan Brown (74′) Rhys Tyler (89′)

East Thurrock United: Lukas Lidakevicius, Abdul Salami, Ade Osifuwa (James Walker 76), Ben Hood, Marvin Ekpiteta, George Craddock, Joe Gardner (Harry Honesty 70), Ben Marlow, Sam Higgins (Capt), Reece Harris, Tom Wraight

The result leaves East Thurrock in tenth place, eleven points off the play off places.

They return to league action on Saturday at home against Hemel Hempstead.

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