East Thurrock United 0 v 1 Biggleswade Town
ROCKS made just the one team change from the side which had performed so well in the FA Trophy in midweek, with teenage midfielder Sam Carter, on dual-reg from Concord Rangers coming in for his first Rocks start in place of Tommy Barton, who had picked up a knock in Tuesday evening’s game reports the Thurrock Nub News.
But in all honesty, Mark Harrison’s boys looked a completely different side from four days earlier as they struggled to get going against uncompromising opponents, who took full advantage to ease comfortably into the next round.
The opening exchanges were pretty even, but warning signs were there and it came as no surprise when the visitors went in front on eighteen minutes, Jon Clements scoring from close range after Rocks had failed to clear following a cross into the box.
Rocks were working hard enough, but were unable to create anything like a decent opening, and a pair of stunning free kick goals either side of half time were to put the visitors in complete control of the tie.
Two minutes before the half time whistle the Waders won a somewhat fortuitous free kick just outside the box which Charlie Smith drilled past Rocks keeper Harry Aldridge and into the top corner.
Twelve minutes into the second half the same player struck another cracking free kick from around 35 yards out which screamed into the net.
Rocks did come more into the game as the half wore on and the visitors eased off somewhat.
The introduction of new signing Roman Michael-Percil, making a return to the Rocks after four years, added some attacking impetus down the right flank, and Brian Moses and Darnell Kithambo both went close without seriously troubling Waders keeper Tommy Smith.
All in all, a pretty disappointing afternoon for the Rookery Hill faithful.