Brightlingsea Regent 1 v 1 East Thurrock United
Report courtesy of East Thurrock United
ROCKS came away from North Road with a point, following a late equaliser by substitute Phil Brown-Bampoe.
To be fair, a point was the least the Rocks deserved against their North Essex rivals after dominating an opening half in which they created countless chances.
With a lengthy early season injury list continuing to make life difficult for manager Paul Martin, into the side came two new faces, with central defender Jamie Marsh moving from Basildon United, and young midfielder Ben Jordan on loan from Concord Rangers.
As early as the second minute Zenon Stylianides had a shot brilliantly turned round by home keeper Charlie Turner.
Kenny Aileru then saw a well struck free kick turned over, before the visitors had strong claims for a penalty waved away.
On a rare Brightlingsea break forward, Arthur Janata saved comfortably from Jamie Bennett, but it really was one way traffic and after a couple of more decent saves by Turner from Jordan Peart and Aileru, Ayo Olukoga broke clear for the Rocks, but again the home keeper got down to turn it behind.
Aileru went close at the start of the second half, but Regent we’re making a better fist of it now, with lively front man Kris Oti starting to look a real threat.
Arthur Janata had to make a couple of interceptions, but at the other end the Rocks should have gone in front following a scramble, but Callum Taylor shot over.
Then the Rocks were dramatically set back on their heels when the ref awarded a penalty for handball, and Oti coolly fired home with just six minutes left.
To their credit the young Rocks side launched men forward, and were rewarded when, following another almighty goalmouth scramble, substitute BROWN-BAMPOE tucked the ball home on 89 minutes, much to the delight of the travelling fans behind the goal.
There was still time for plenty more added time action as Stylianides broke clear and was hauled down in the box for what looked a nailed on penalty, but the official was again unmoved. Rocks then smashed one against the post, with Turner having the last say, finger tipping another excellent Aileru free kick over.
Over the ninety this may well be seen as a disappointing result, but to take positives from the game, it is a first point of the new season, and it is great to see this new look Rocks side playing some excellent football despite the injury enforced constant re-shuffling of personnel.
ROCKS: Arthur Janata, Jon Nzengo, Callum Taylor, Dan Cossington, Jamie Marsh, Jordan Peart, Luke Illsley (Phil Brown-Bampoe 77), Ayo Olukoga, Zenon Stylianides, Ben Jordan (Izzy Bademosi 77), Kenny Aileru. subs: Kieran Case, Ricky Brennan, Jordan Williams (gk).