FIGHT FOR SURVIVAL: East Thurrock United vs Bognor Regis Town

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  • East Thurrock United 4-2 Bognor Regis Town
  • Ryman Premier League
  • From Rookery Hill
  • Kick off: 3pm

5:03pm

We will be back to report on the Essex Senior Cup final between Concord and Braintree on Tuesday. See you then!

5:02pm

Concord 0-1 Bath

Wealdstone 2-0 Canvey

Maidstone 2-1 Grays

Wingate & Finchley 5-0 Billericay

Thurrock 1-2 Tilbury

 

 

4:58pm

Thurrock have missed out on the play-offs. Unbelievable. They started the day three points and five goals better off than Needham. They looked dead certainties only games ago.

4:54pm

Wakering have also won the Essex Senior League. Fantastic.

4:53pm

The players take the applause of the fans as they go off. Tremendous.

4:53pm

What an afternoon. The players are jubilant in the centre circle and quite rightly so. They showed some character to come back from two down after 15 minutes. What it means is that Wingate & Finchley are relegated despite a 5-0 win against Billericay. 

4:50pm

East Thurrock win! And are safe!

4:50pm

Almost a cock-up in the home defence but Hughes' error goes unpunished.

4:47pm

Bognor have gone to pieces here. Don't look like getting back into this one.

4:45pm

ETU keeping the pressure up very deep in enemy territory. Really good stuff.

4:44pm

Thurrock have pulled one back but that isn't good enough at the moment!

4:43pm

Stunning stuff in the RND. Thurrock are two down but started the day three points and five goals better than sixth place Needham. Needham are 7-1 up!

4:41pm

Higgins frees Bryant but he misses the target.

4:40pm

Keeper Hughes ran all the way from his goal to celebrate that goal with his team. 

4:39pm

Frickley have taken a 3-1 lead at Worksop so this is a must win for ETU. All the sides under pressure have turned it on today!

4:38pm

The striker picks up the ball and lashes in off the shins of a Bognor defender. Rocks edge closer to safety.

4:37pm

Higgins scores! East Thurrock take a 4-2 lead!

4:36pm

Very well claimed by Hughes. Made it clear that one was his.

4:35pm

Bognor have a corner. Very tense.

4:33pm

Bognor have shown glimpses of class today but have been pretty poor, taking nothing away from ETU.

4:32pm

Aveley are 3-2 up and Grays 2-0 down in latest scores.

4:30pm

ETU have just missed a golden golden chance. Higgins is free and has two in support. He squares and Gilbey and Smith are in acres of space but Gilbey hits a fresh air shot and the ball is away.

4:29pm

20 minutes to go. A win will guarantee safety and put Wingate in the bottom four. They are currently 4-0 up against Billericay.

4:28pm

Gilbey smashes home from inside the box after the keeper denied Smith and Higgins. Great stuff.

4:26pm

Goal East Thurrock!! Stunning come back!

4:25pm

Visitors cranking up the pressure now. Hearing the penalty was pretty harsh vs Worksop but ETU need to focus on their result.

4:24pm

Wollers and Hinshlewood have entered the fray for BRT. Not sure who has gone off.

4:22pm

Wingate are three up against Billericay so Rocks need a win. Frickley have just scored. Catastrophic.

4:21pm

Wills and Smith come together on the near touch line. Heads touch but looks like handbags. A yellow card a piece.

4:18pm

Frickley equalise at Worksop. We are back on a knife edge. 

4:17pm

Higgins slashes a cross towards Gilbey but the runner can't quite get on the end of it. Nice effort.

4:17pm

Rocks taking control of this one now. The home team I should say. Really taking the game to second placed Bognor.

4:15pm

Smith strikes left footed from outside the box to send Grant Smith into a sprawling save down to his left. From the resulting corner Bryant fires over after a low drive by Symons drops into his path.

4:14pm

Symons has one of the worst haircuts in the league but his passing has been right out of the top drawer today. Excellent performance.

4:13pm

Rocks still staying up courtesy of results outside the division but staying up is all that matters!

4:12pm

Higgins reaches the byline and fires in a low cross that is turned in by Gilbey! 2-2!

4:12pm

Goal for East Thurrock!!

4:09pm

Higgins links up well with Smith but sends his cross wide.

4:07pm

Bognor Regis have started the second half well. Sheehan doing well at the back. Can't afford to let cheap goals in today. They already have twice!

4:04pm

So 45 minutes to decide a season.

4:03pm

Sackman replaces Weir at halftime for the away side.

4:02pm

BGT kick off

4:01pm

Covo is speaking to his players in the centre circle as we prepare for kick off

3:59pm

Basildon 0-3 Wakering

Hullbridge 0-0 Bowers & Pitsea

 

3:58pm

Elsewhere

Concord Rangers 0-0 Bath City

Wealdstone 0-0 Canvey

Wingate & Finchley 2-0 Billericay

Maidstone 1-0 Grays

Thurrock 0-0 Tilbury

Aveley 2-1 Waltham Abbey

 

3:52pm

East Thurrock are currently safe on goals scored can you believe it!

3:51pm

Half time: ETU 1-2 BRT

3:45pm

 

3:43pm

Bryant wins a freekick on the right after a shove by Robson. Visitors conceding far too many free kicks in wide areas.

3:41pm

Another interesting twist in Ryman North division as Witham concede against Cheshunt. VCD currently champions.

3:40pm

Bryant is down after taking a direct hit just where you don't want! He is hobbling to his feet. Ouch!

3:39pm

Aveley have drawn level against Waltham Abbey and Grays have just conceded to Maidstone.

3:37pm

David Bryant has been awarded the goal but looked like an OG to me!

3:36pm

The ball is sent to the far post and Sheehan but he miscues and Sammons drives it back in, cannoning of a away defender and in!

3:35pm

Goal for East Thurrock!

3:35pm

Poor delivery but they still have a corner. Gilbey to take.

3:34pm

ETU have struggled to string some passes together in the past five minutes. They are currently pressing down the left but away side defenders are winning all the headers. Smith now with a freekick from the left.

3:31pm

Great Wakering have taken the lead at Basildon. Get the champagne ready chap!

3:29pm

ETU are being caught after Sheehan goes up to attack set pieces, leaving Peddie at the back against the pacy Dodd.

3:28pm

314 people are here today.

3:25pm

Higgins chases down a Smith clearance and gets so close to diverted the ball into the goal. The ball is diverted just wide.

3:21pm

Worksop have taken the lead vs Frickley! Trouble is they still have a better goal difference by one goal so East Thurrock would be down.

3:20pm

Great play by Smith as he twists and turns in the box. He crosses and Higgins slashes his shot missing it completely. The home side can't afford to miss chances, not today.

3:19pm

Two nil to Wingate & Finchley. Rocks will be looking to Frickley Athletic for help.

3:18pm

Nothing wrong with the home sides forward play but their defending has been terrible when under pressure.

3:17pm

I am getting a sense of déjà vu. A cross by Smith drops to Symons at the far stick and his header clips the bar and goes out!

3:15pm

Ollie Pearce doubles the lead after another swift counter attack. I have just heard Wingate & Finchley have taken the lead too.

3:14pm

Goal Bognor Regis Town!

3:14pm

Deep cross from Stephen reaches Parmenter who heads wide.

3:12pm

Punt upfield by Robson drops to the on rushing Crane who hits high and wide.

3:11pm

Cray have taken the lead against Enfield Town, who are also deep in trouble.

3:09pm

The hosts almost strike straight back. A ball in from Smith drops to Symons who lashes against the bar from inside the box. Gilbey hits rebound over!

3:08pm

The away side break and a great dummy by Dodd lets in Ben Johnson who side foots past Hughes. Early body blow for Rocks. Not sure where the marking was there.

3:07pm

Goal for Bognor Regis!

3:06pm

Swings out for another corner which Stephen swings in. Terrific clearance by Axten to block Higgins and it's a goal kick.

3:05pm

Smith's dribbling causing problems for the away side early on. He wins a corner which Gilbey will take.

3:04pm

Some nice banners made in support of East Thurrock today. Stands are rammed.

3:03pm

Gilbey is dropping just off Higgins it appears. Makes sense - Gilbey has been effective coming from deep this season.

3:02pm

First thing I've noticed is how young the away side look. Big away support here today as well.

3:00pm

East Thurrock kick off.

2:58pm

Teams are out. Home side in yellow and black and the visitors in white and green.

2:58pm

For reference both teams are called Rocks so I may refer to East Thurrock as ETU and Bognor Reis as BRT!

2:53pm

Bognor Regis XI: Grant Smith, Michael Weir, James Crane, Doug Tuck, Stuart Axten, Craig Robson, Scott Chamberlain, Kane Wills, Terry Dodd, Ollie Pearce, Ben Johnson

Subs: Sackman, Morley, Wollers, Hinshlewood, Killpatrick

2:48pm

Here are today's teams:

East Thurrock XI: David Hughes, Ryan Sammons, Tom Stephen, Simon Peddie, Steve Sheehan, Ross Parmenter, Mitchell Gilbey, Nick Symons, Sam Higgins, David Bryant, Lewis Smith

Subs: Witherspoon, Lechmere, Richmond, Anderson, Nganda

2:29pm

We will keep you up to date with all the other non-league action today as Great Wakering Rovers look to clinch the title in the Essex Senior League and Thurrock aim to secure a play-off place in the Ryman North Division.

 

Please leave your feedback with @echoluke.

2:29pm

Rocks face a really tough ask this afternoon against Bognor Regis Town. A win would assure the same-named Rocks second place in the league although they are already confirmed a play-off spot.

Today’s visitors won the reverse fixture 3-1 in January and have relied on Terry Dodd for goals this year. The forward has found the net 21 times, including two strikes against today’s opponents earlier in the season.

Rocks will once again look to the irrepressible Sam Higgins, who has been scoring for fun since his return to the club from Concord Rangers in February. Higgins has scored 12 goals in 17 appearances since he re-joined with Lewis Smith and David Bryant also amongst the goals.

2:29pm

Rocks will be hoping Essex neighbours Billericay can do them a favour and grab some vital points to avoid this complicated scenario.

 

Now...to today’s game!

2:28pm

No team in the Southern league is likely to reach the 46 points accrued by John Coventry’s side this season although the same cannot be said of the northern league.

 

Astonishingly Frickley Athletic of the Northern League have exactly the same amount of points and goal difference (-20) as East Thurrock - so Rocks will also have their fingers crossed for a Worksop Town victory (Worksop currently lie in 4th position and are guaranteed a play-off place) even thought Frickley are mathematically unable to escape the relegation places.

2:28pm

But, in a bizarre twist, Rocks may not be relegated even if they are in the bottom four come 5pm today. Vauxhall Motors’ were forced to resign from the Conference North after coming into financial problems but their loss could be East Thurrock’s gain.

The knock-on effect down the football pyramid means the best placed finisher in the drop zones of the three step three divisions – the Ryman Premier, Calor Southern and Evo Stick North – will get a reprieve as the football pyramid is reorganised.

2:28pm

In the simplest terms an East Thurrock win will mean they retain their place in the Ryman Premier Division. They are currently one place outside the drop zone but are locked on 46 points with Wingate & Finchley. However, Rocks vastly superior goal difference means bettering or matching the Wingate & Finchley score line will assure their safety.

2:27pm

GOOD afternoon and welcome to Rookery Hill for the final game of the season – and what a game we have in store.

After 45 games it all comes down to 90 minutes of football for East Thurrock today. The situation is very simple but has the potential to become very complicated so I will do my best to explain what needs to happen this afternoon.

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