FA Cup Preliminary Round
East Thurrock United 2 v 2 Barton Rovers
THE ROCKS were able to have some half chances in the opening stages; Pat Ahern and Mo Amir both having efforts that Barton Rovers keeper Cam Groom saved comfortably. Jesse Olukolu jinked his way through the Barton defence with neat footwork and skills a number of times attempting to find Odukoya in the box. Rocks keeper Antoni Bort had to make a strong stop down to his left after a low driven shot from the Barton attacker. Barton Rovers put crosses into Rocks the box which were defended then also had a shot which was on target but Ben Wyss blocked well.
Rocks best chance of the game up to this point (30 mins) came from Ben Wyss, a curling shot from 15 yards, which went just wide of the top left hand corner. Wyss and Olukolu then both had efforts which came to nothing. The closing stages of the first half were pretty uneventful from both teams.
After an audacious over head kick effort from Odukoya which went over the bar, Barton Rovers then went up the other end and struck a powerful close range shot at Bort who made a stunning one handed save to keep the score at 0/0. After a cross into the box from the left hand side of the pitch, Ash Siddik managed to get his head to the ball and had beaten keeper Groom, only for a Barton Rovers defender to hook the ball away from the line. After shouts from fans that the ball gone in the Lino indicated that it hadn’t meaning the score remained 0/0. Olukolu then struck a curling shot destined for the top left hand corner after cutting inside from the wide right, but again it sailed just wide.
Rovers put an accurate cross towards the back post where Taylor Rhiney volleyed home from very close range and the Rocks found themselves one behind on the seventy four minute mark. The team pushed forward and had a number of efforts but some great saves from Cam Groom, defenders putting bodies on the line and shots being blazed over the bar meant the ball just wouldn’t find the back of the net. Heading into the final minutes, it looked as if we would be exiting the FA Cup.
Continuing to attack Odukoya won himself a free kick on the edge of the box. After stepping up to take it he proceeded to fire the shot into the top right hand corner meaning we were level at the death to the delight of the fans and management. Going into injury time the Barton defence blocked three shots in a row, one from Ben Wyss which looked destined for the bottom corner. A lot of East Thurrock fans at this point were wondering how we hadn’t got a winner here at Rookery Hill. Referee Paul Stratton blew the final whistle and the game finished one a piece.
As the game finished in a draw there will be a replay in the coming days at Barton Rovers.