Monday, February 6, 2023

Football: East Thurrock lose to table toppers Sudbury

Isthmian Division North

AFC Sudbury 1 v 0 East Thurrock United

A SINGLE goal, scored some twenty minutes in, was all that separated two evenly matched sides in this competitive and entertaining Isthmian North game up in Suffolk reports East Thurrock United.

That goal, scored by Josh Mayhew was enough to extend AFC Sudbury’s impressive home league record to eleven wins from eleven games, while at the same time ending Rocks own nine game unbeaten away run.

Rocks started on the front foot, and after going close on a couple of occasions, on eleven minutes the visitors Sam Carter latched on to an Oli Spooner pass and forced an excellent diving save out of one time Rocks keeper David Hughes.

The decisive goal came from the yellow’s first serious attack, as they broke down the right, Josh Stokes played a ball across the Rocks six yard box, and a defensive miscue left Mayhew in the clear with time to fire past Montel Joseph.

Shortly afterwards it took a decent save from Joseph to prevent Jake Turner from doubling the hosts lead.

Undaunted, the Rocks continued to press forward, and on the half hour they had a double chance to score. Firstly, Harry Hope showed some great skills cutting in from the right, he appeared to be fouled as he send a tempting ball across Hughes’ goal to the far post where Brian Moses just failed to get a telling touch with the goal at his mercy. Having played a good advantage, to his credit the referee then pulled play back to give a free kick for the original foul, and from just outside the box Hope beat Hughes all ends up with his well flighted free kick, only to see the ball hit the woodwork.

With half time approaching, the ever dangerous Jordan Peart looked certain to score, but his close range shot was brilliantly blocked by a last gasp challenge from Turner.

Some good attacking moves from both sides into the second half were thwarted by some equally impressive defending at both ends.

For Rocks, Moses went close with a couple of efforts, while Spooner, Hope and Peart all had efforts well saved by Hughes.

The introduction of livewire substitute Sakaria Hassan posed a new threat to the Rocks defence as he made a couple of positive runs through midfield, but fortunately they came to nothing.

Then, out of the blue, with eight minutes remaining, the home side were awarded a hotly disputed penalty after Stokes took a tumble in the box. However, Joseph guessed correctly to comfortably save and gather Mayhew’s spot kick.

With the game drawing to a conclusion, Rocks were launching waves of attacks. The hard grafting Hope got on the end of a Ryan Boswell cross from wide right, but his header was just off target.

Isaac Skubich had a chance to get one over on his former club when Rocks won a free kick on the edge of the box, but will be disappointed at the end result which was comfortably saved.

Then, deep in added time Rocks won a corner, and keeper Joseph could have capped a good personal performance as he was first to the ball. But his header lacked power and direction, and the moment was gone.

Now attention turns to Friday night, when second in the table Hashtag come to Rookery Hill.

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