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Rocks claim battle of Thurrock
4:15pm Wednesday 28th August 2013 in Sport
EAST Thurrock romped to their first home win of the season, ending Essex rivals Grays’ impressive run of form.
Grays came into the match on the back of four straight wins and 22 wins in the last 23 league matches but never hit top gear. Rocks took full advantage, playing some of their best football of the new campaign, and controlled large patches of the game.
They took the lead right on half-time when debutant Stuart Thurgood’s free kick slipped through keeper George Kamurasi’s gloves and into the net.
Two goals in the second half from David Bryant made the result safe with Grays rarely threatening the home side’s goal.
The first chance of the game fell to Rocks’ Nathan Koranteng after his 20-yard shot was palmed away. The pacy forward caused problems all afternoon for Blues with his direct running and close control often proving too much at times for the away side’s defence.
Joao Carlos, who has already netted four times this campaign, had a low shot pushed away by Rocks keeper Darren Behcet but the exciting striker was unable to make a meaningful impact in the game.
The home side had another chance to take the lead through Leon McKenzie but only made their pressure tell three minutes into first half injury time – Thurgood’s free kick creeping in.
Instead of consolidating their lead, East Thurrock came out strongly in search for a second goal.
David Bryant missed two gilt-edged chances to make the game safe and when he finally did score it came in style. McKenzie played the ball over the top for Bryant to run onto. From the right channel, the striker jinked inside and bent home a left foot shot into the top corner past Kamurasi’s despairing dive.
Koranteng had three more chances to open his account but was foiled by excellent goalkeeping.
The final goal came seconds before full-time when he netted after some unselfish work by substitute Luke Wanadio.
Rocks manager John Coventry said his newly assembled team had shown what they were capable of.
“It was a very professional performance and we were defensively sound from start to end.
“Our new signings will do a great job for us. They have quality and add plenty of bite in midfield. We have to take this performance into our next game.”
Grays captain Lee Flynn said the better team won.
“They played very well and we didn’t. We have been on a great run of form and need to remember we only just got promoted. We have to show what we can do in the upcoming games.”
East Thurrock United: Behcet, Sammons, Stephen, Peddie, Sheehan (c), Hughes (Wanadio), Dawson, Thurgood, McKenzie, Bryant, Korateng Grays Athletic: Kamurasi, Pope, Flynn (c), Baker, Nightingill, Lalite, Ramos-Gonzalez (Hamdan), Beaney, West, Small, Carlos MoM: Tom Stephen (East Thurrock United).