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Rocks saved by Mott in seaside draw
EAST Thurrock plundered a replay after their ‘keeper came to their rescue in a feisty cup tie by the seaside.
Rocks came into the match on a poor run of form, with only one win in ten games, and were lucky not to lose this match after Eastbourne blew a great chance to make it into the next round.
The home side were awarded a penalty midway through the second half after a cross struck an arm. Rocks didn’t appeal the decision and veteran striker Rocky Baptiste, twice of Thurrock, stepped up to take the kick. Only a full length dive from ‘keeper Sam Mott denied the striker on his debut.
Seconds later Rocks burst up the field and thought they had taken the lead when Leon McKenzie bundled the ball into the net, only to look in dismay to see the linesman had raised his flag.
East Thurrock started the match on the front foot with Simon Glover heading wide on two occasions. Jason Hallett and McKenzie were making nuisances of themselves up front but the Eastbourne defence held up well to the challenge.
Ryan Fregany looked the most likely outlet for the home team with his direct running but full backs Tom Stephen and Ryan Sammons both played well throughout.
The game burst into life in the second half with McKenzie denied by a good save from Greg Nessling.
Seconds later, Baptiste spurned a chance to score on his Town bow from the spot before Rocks broke and McKenzie saw his effort chalked off for offside. The flag was only raised after Hallett, the player in the offside position, had nodded the ball on to his strike partner’s frustration.
On 70 minutes Rocks’ Kurt Smith burst through and his shot looked destined for the net only for it to roll agonisingly past the post.
The game ended with a flurry of yellow cards and both sides set to do it all again on Tuesday.
Rock’s manager John Coventry said his side had been wasteful with their chances.
“We needed to take at least one of their chances. We are indebted to the ‘keeper for making a brilliant save against a side who played very well. They played well and the cup gives both sides a great chance to pick up some money.
“We have five players back for the replay and I will make some changes.”
East Thurrock: Sam Mott, Ryan Sammons, Tom Stephen, Simon Peddie, Connor Witherspoon, Simon Glover, Kye Ruez, Ross Parmenter, Leon McKenzie (Mitchell Gilbey), Jason Hallett, Kurt Smith (Grant Eagle) MOM: Ryan Fregany (Eastbourne Town)
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