East Thurrock 0

Wingate and Finchley 1

RYMAN PREMIER: EAST Thurrock lost their battle against Ryman Premier rivals Wingate & Finchley at the weekend.

Rocks battled at Rookery Hill but a single goal separated the two sides after 90 minutes.

East Thurrock started strongly with the talismanic Sam Higgins whipping a brilliant attempt in – only for the shot to be thwarted by the athleticism of Wingate goalkeeper Bobby Smith.

John Coventry’s Rocks should probably have taken the lead a few minutes later.

Mitchell Pennock’s ball found Lewis Smith who set off for the goal only to be parried by the keeper and cleared off the line. But Rocks struggled to deal with the pressure from Wingate who were well captained by their skipper Mark Weatherstone. The referee was having a poor game – seeming to ignore linesmans’ flags – but at times Rocks did themselves few favours. Wingate striker Adam Bolle tormented the East Thurrock defence and forced a couple of great saves from David Hughes.

Josh Kennett came close too for the visitors.

There was a serious blow for East Thurrock just before the break when David Bryant came off after a collision.

But East Thurrock survived to half time. Twenty minutes into the second period came the goal that separated the two sides. A mistake by John Easterford handed posession to Kennett and he identified a gap and squeezed a shot past Hughes.

Boss Coventry brought on both Stuart Thurgood and Neil Richmond, but even the addition of these two players could not boost Rocks.

Coventry’s men enjoyed most of the posession in the latter stages but failed to find a way through Wingate’s tight defence. Richmond came close, and Smith was another who threatened. But the scoreline remained the same and the visitors narrowly deserved to take all three points.

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