Football: Gilbey leaves it late but Rock’s great run continues

East Thurrock United

Isthmian North

East Thurrock United 1 v 0 Lewes

Report courtesy of East Thurrock United Football Club.

A TRULY miserable afternoon weatherwise to mark Non-League Day, which the club marked by launching a new sponsorship deal as the Rookery Hill Ground became the Grayers Graphics Stadium. Despite the weather, a near 300 crowd turned up, including local MP Stephen Metcalfe.

The Essex “Rocks” took on the Sussex “Rooks” and it was the Essex boys who picked up the points.

What was to prove to be the deciding goal came ten minutes before the half time interval, when Gilbey played the ball towards Danny Harris, a Lewes defender slipped on the greasy surface, leaving Harris time and space to return the ball to Gilbey who took a touch before firing past visiting keeper Nathan Stroomberg.

Earlier, Stroomberg had pulled off excellent saves to deny Ben Marlow and Rocks leading marksman Frankie Merrifield as home side enjoyed the better of the opening half.

As the rain lashed down after the break, the Sussex visitors worked hard to try and get back into the game, but found the Rocks defence in uncompromising mood, with the central pairing of Steve Sheehan and skipper Ryan Clark looking impervious. So much so that home keeper Jack Giddens was never really seriously tested.

Rocks always looked the side most likely to score, but a second goal just wouldn’t come. Ring spurned a great chance when clean thorough on 70 minutes, curling the ball past the keeper, but missing the goal by a yard or so.

Merrifield, Gilbey and Billy Crook all had reasonable openings to settle things, but battling Lewes held out without ever really looking like scoring.

ROCKS: Jack Giddens, Jason Ring, Jordan Brown, Steve Sheehan, Ryan Scott, Billy Crook (Morisi Gelashvil 89), Sean Bonnett-Johnson (Ayo Olukoga 81), Ben Marlow, Frankie Merrifield, Mitchell Gilbey, Danny Harris. unused subs, Jack Coventry-James, Matt Juson.

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