Football: Nine-man Rocks remain rooted to the bottom

Paul K

Vanarama National League South

Gloucester City 1 v 0 East Thurrock United

Report courtesy of Thurrock Independent

EAST Thurrock United’s dismal start to the season continued with a fifth consecutive defeat and they ended the Saturday’s National League South game with nine men after Paul Konchesky and Ashley Miller were sent off.

East Thurrock remain rooted and pointless at the foot of the table, but there was little to choose between the two sides.

Indeed, after a rather dull opening it was the visitors who created the first significant chance, Konchesky driving forward and clipping the ball across the face of goal but Danny Harris was unable to get any purchase on the ball and his headed looped high over the bar.

Gloucester responded by pinning East Thurrock back and Rocks keeper Jack Giddens had to be on his toes a couple of times to react and keep the Tigers at bay.

As the half progressed Rocks grew into the game and began to look the dominant side, Alfie Egan forcing a fine save from Matt Yates but just after the half hour the visitors fell to a sucker punch when a ball was played through the channel and Ben Seymour raced through and clipped the ball past Giddens for what ultimately proved the winner.

The rest of the half was insipid and incident free but Rocks came out for the second half looking a little brighter and they were looking the more likely to score, and probably would have had Mr Howes brought his ‘A’ game to the Jubilee Stadium but somehow he did not see Jack Simmons upended in the box.

And another pivotal moment came when Gloucester’s Matt Williams reacted quickest by mere inches to prod the ball away from Danny Harris as he sought to capitalise on defensive chaos in the home defence.

Moments later Williams was involved at the other end with a late tackle that flattened Konchesky. Mr Howes gave the foul but missed the ‘afters’ when Konchesky shoved his forehead into Williams’ face but his assistant didn’t and after a consultation the former Premier league ace suffered the indignity of a non-League red card!

Ironically the ten men East Thurrock picked up their game and threatened a comeback – until two quick yellow cards in succession from Miller saw Rocks reduced to nine.

Even then they didn’t lie down, showing far more commitment than they had with a full complement and Yates produced a finger-tip save to deny Ben Marlow.

Yates should probably have seen red himself in the closing moments of the game when he flattened Tom Derry outside the box with a reckless, lunging tackle from behind but Mr Howes only issued a yellow.

The subsequent free kick came to nothing and soon after the final whistle brought an end to the encounter. There was no sense of injustice from the Rocks camp, there could be no complaints about the result – nor the two dismissals – and manager John Coventry was quite frank, saying: “I am going to have a good look at myself and the squad and something will have to change.”

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