East Thurrock 2,
EAST Thurrock manager John Coventry was happy to see his side return to winning ways with a dominant display against a visiting Enfield Town side.
Goals in the first half from the impressive Sam Collins and one from David Bryant on a promising debut sealed victory to banish the disappointing New Year’s Day defeat at Canvey.
Enfield hit the woodwork twice but their own goal led a charmed life as they were well beaten.
Coventry said: “We did a lot of talking at training on Thursday night and we’ve had a reaction here today. “They’ve taken on board all the stuff we spoke about and they’ve put it into practice here today and they’ve got their rewards.”
It left Rocks eight points off the top five, but Coventry was not getting carried away with a charge for the play-off places.
He said: “I don’t know – it would be nice if we could but all I’m looking at is the three points here today. “I’m nearer to getting players back and once they are all back we’ll see where we are.”
In the match Enfield almost took a fourth-minute lead in bizarre fashion.
Rocks were caught static from a quickly-taken free kick, which was pumped forward for Liam Hope to guide a fantastic header against the bar.
Rocks went very close themselves with just nine minutes on the clock.
Collins cut inside his man and crossed from the right, only for L’Heureux Menga to put an unchallenged header inches wide of the mark.
But they were ahead in the 17th minute as Ross Parmenter’s measured ball over the top put Reiss Gilbey clear in the box and he cut it back for Collins to side foot inside the post. It was a lovely move. Bryant – brought in from Braintree Town – headed a good chance wide from Tom Stephen’s cross following a nice over-lap on to Collins’ pass, 10 minutes before the interval.
And they should have doubled their advantage five minutes later when Bryant played Collins in on goal, but he fired at keeper Noel Imber.
They got the second goal their dominance deserved seconds later, though, as Liam Burgess crossed and Bryant forced home the rebound after his initial shot was blocked.
The hosts were given a warning sign seconds after the restart as former pro Scott McGleish hit the post and then had his follow-up saved by Elliot Justham.
But Rocks asserted control again and Collins flashed a shot narrowly over following neat approach play.
Collins could easily have already had a hat-trick by the time he slalomed through the visitors’ defence and drew a good save from Imber on 68 minutes.
The siege continued as Menga had a long-range effort pushed wide by Imber, but the third goal would not come.
Rocks almost opened themselves up late on. Joe O’Brien drew a good low save from Justham. But play returned to its normal pattern when Collins dragged a shot wide in the closing stages.
East Thurrock: Justham, Sammons, Peddie, Wood. Stephen, Burgess, Parmenter (Ruel 84), Gilbey, Bryant (Lawson 75), Collins, Menga (Mason 90). Gazette MOM: Sam Collins (East Thurrock).