East Thurrock United 2 v Merstham
Report courtesy of East Thurrock United.
TWO sides who went into the game looking for a win to lift themselves clear of the lower reaches of the fledgling league table ended up having to settle for a point apiece at Rookery Hill.
Paul Martin introduced Rocks most recent signing, Nebay Haile, a forward who joins on dual registration from Dartford FC.
Izzy Bademosi had the ball in the net for the Rocks early on with a cracking drive, only to be denied by the offside flag.
It was the Surrey side who went in front on the half hour as former Rocks man Calvin Ekpiteta fired home from just inside the box.
The Rocks didn’t have to wait long for their equaliser, as Kenny AILERU coolly tucked a penalty past Merstham’s QPR loanee keeper Tyla Dickinson, after Bademosi had been brought down in full flight.
Rocks own loanee, Haile went close twice early in the second half, and was then instrumental in setting up a second goal some ten minutes into the half. His temptingly delivered free kick from out on the right being headed home by Luke ILLSLEY for his first goal for the club.
Rocks battled hard to hang onto the three points, but after seeing one Merstham effort come back off the bar, and a couple of excellent saves from home keeper Arthur Janata, the Moatsiders grabbed their leveler with six minutes left when Jack Leahy cut in from the left, and scored with a stunner from a tight angle.
Merstham pressed forward in search of a winner, but one stunning point blank save from Arthur, followed by a couple of timely interceptions ensured Rocks came away with a point.
ROCKS: Arthur Janata, Jon Nzengo, Jordan Peart, Dan Cossington, Jamie Marsh, Ayo Olukoga, Luke Illsley, Zenon Stylianides (Phil Brown-Bampoe 84), Nebay Haile (Callum Taylor 87), Izzy Bademosi, Kenny Aileru. subs: Mike Castle, Ricky Brennan, Jordan Williams gk.