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Millers are edged out
NON LEAGUE: A GOAL with the last kick of the match saw Tilbury come from behind to beat Aveley in a dramatic Thurrock derby, writes Luke Lambert from Chadfields.
Two goals from substitute Danny Francis in the last five minutes gave the Dockers a victory that looked unlikely when visitors Aveley took the lead midway through the second half.
However, when the Millers’ skipper Billy Holland went off injured the home side took the initiative, equalizing after 87 minutes before winning a penalty deep in injury time – which Francis converted.
Aveley had started the match the much better side with Junior Appiah, Shane Oakley and Jason Twum causing the Dockers’ backline endless problems. However the best chance of the half fell to Tilbury when Lee Weemes shot wide after a quickly taken free-kick.
Oakley hit the post for the visitors from a tight angle before the break but chances were at a premium.
Tilbury came out the better side and could have been awarded a penalty when Tony Jacobs looked to be pushed off the ball by Luke Wilson. The referee was unmoved.
Harry Cook then smashed a brilliant free-kick with the outside of his boot against the post as Tilbury but it was Aveley that struck first. The excellent Ross Wall smashed a 20-yard shot into the crossbar, with the ball cleared for a corner. From Holland’s kick, Jay Leader jumped above his marker to nod home.
Aveley could have doubled their lead when substitute Anton Stephenson hit the inside of the post and their failure to score proved costly.
With ten minutes left Holland went off with a groin injury, that will put him out for a month, and the home side equalized five minutes later.
A slip from Wilson let in Francis and he looked to have missed the chance after dawdling on the ball. However, he played the ball back to fullback Conor Mead, his cross wasn’t cleared and fell back to Francis who scuffed his scissor kick into the bottom corner.
Not satisfied with a point, Tilbury poured forward and were awarded a penalty deep into injury time after Cook’s shot struck the arm of Kallon Nurudeen. Francis stepped up and blasted the ball into the top corner with the full-time whistle blowing for full time as Aveley kicked off.
Tilbury boss Paul Vaughan praised Francis after the game.
“He is a model professional and works so hard. He has been out of the team recently but showed his quality today.
“The whole team played well and I couldn’t have asked for more.”
Aveley manager Justin Gardner said the game changed when his skipper went off.
“We looked like a different team and it is very disappointing. I thought the penalty was harsh and losing in this way is hard to take.”
Tilbury XI - Ramos, Mead, Daniel, Pooley, West (C), Christou, Babalola (Blackman), Jacobs (Zanelli), Weemes (Francis), Cutler, Cook Aveley XI - Giddens, Nurudeen, Nesbitt, Leader, Wilson, Hopkins, Wall, Holland (Bakare), Oakley (Stephenson), Twum (Jama), Appiah Gazette MOM: Ross Wall (Aveley) For all non league see Friday's THURROCK GAZETTE