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Rocks beat Fleet in barmy borough derby
EAST THURROCK UNITED 1, THURROCK 0
JOHN Coventry said he was proud of his Rocks side after they triumphed in a borough derby despite playing most of the match with ten men.
Ryan Sammons was sent off in the 30th minute after Matt Turpin had turned the ball into his own net, in what turned out to be the game’s only goal.
Thurrock, who were so impressive at the weekend, lacked imagination against a Rocks side whose defence was well marshalled and determined, not to mention bolstered by the return of Steve Sheehan.
The centre-half was imperious in just his second game back after a four month lay-off with a broken leg. Even when Thurrock put Turpin up front with 30 minute remaining, Sheehan and his centre-back partner Peddie dealt with Fleet’s laboured efforts to salvage the game.
When the game was 11 v 11, East Thurrock were much the better side. With Sam Collins on the left and James Lawson on the right, Rocks looked a threat, particularly on the break as the ball went wide.
It was through Collins that Rocks took the lead in the 18th minute. He collected the ball from Reiss Gilbey on the left, beat Rich Jones to the by-line, before firing a low cross into the near post that Turpin turned into his own net under pressure from David Bryant.
Dave Collis then came close to doubling the lead with a 25 yard curler that David Hughes prevented from sailing into the top corner with a great save.
In the 30th minute, a melee broke out that reminded everyone in the ground they were watching a derby.
Ryan Sammons and Harry Cook went flying in to win the ball. Cook came off worse and appeared to be in a lot of discomfort.
As a result of the tackle, Collis and Charlie Stimson became involved in a fight of their own with players from both sides piling into diffuse the situation.
After taking his time and consulting with his assistants, the referee showed Sammons a straight red card for the tackle.
Stimson and Collis were both booked with the former substituted minutes later.
With a man advantage and just under three-quarters of the game to play, Fleet might have smelt blood.
But in the 60 minutes that followed, they registered just one shot on target.
Mark Stimson’s side monopolised possession in the second half, but it was Rocks who came closest to scoring.
Kye Ruel, a second half substitute saw his long range effort go just wide of Hughes’ left hand post and Sam Higgins, whose work up front was excellent, had two well hit shots go just over.
East Thurrock United: Justham; Sammons, Stephens, Peddie, Sheehan; Collis, Lawson, Gilbey, Collins; Higgins, Bryant
Thurrock: Hughes; Jones, Onyemah, Jeffries, Turpin; Thurgood, Spence, Green, Smith; Stimson, Cook.
Echo MOM: Steve Sheehan