East Thurrock 1
NON LEAGUE: EAST Thurrock United remain three points off safety with four games left after feeling the force of a second-half onslaught from Leiston in Suffolk on Saturday.
Rocks did not start the game particularly well and conceded a penalty in just the seventh minute when Barry Deacon was toppled in the area.
Craig Parker stepped up to take the kick but saw his effort superbly saved by East Thurrock goalkeeper David Hughes. Hughes then got back up quickly to deny Emmanuel Osei on the rebound in what was a fabulous double save.
After that, however, Rocks were the better side for the remainder of the half and worthy of their half-time lead.
And there should be no surprise at the identity of the man who put them ahead.
The prolific Sam Higgins rose highest to power a header past home keeper Alex Rossis on the half-hour mark.
Leiston came out for the second half with a flea in their ears and were on level terms within minutes.
Tom Stephen was adjudged to have fouled Leiston’s Rhys Henry in the box and with the spot kick duties handed over to Joe Francis, he gave Hughes no chance at making his second penalty save of the game.
East Thurrock responded well but were undone on the counter attack 15 minutes from time when Parker made amends for his penalty miss by converting Patrick Brothers’ cross.
Francis then curled a free kick past Hughes two minutes later to give Leiston the win and leave Rocks sweating on their Ryman Premier future even more.