East Thurrock United 0–1 Havant & Waterlooville

(Rutherford 54’)

From the FutureFuel Stadium

National League South

EAST Thurrock United’s struggles continued as Havant & Waterlooville edged out John Coventry’s team in Corringham.

Rocks had been well beaten at Bath City last time out, with Coventry labelling the performance the “worst defensive showing in his time as manager”.

But it was Havant that made the better start. Top-scorer Jason Prior saw an early strike blocked, with Wes Fogden unable to profit from the follow-up.

Bradley Tarbuck’s shot was shepherded behind by on-loan goalkeeper Harry Wright and from the resultant corner Theo Lewis’ header was blocked on the goal line.

Having conceded eight goals in his first two games, Wright was enjoying a better afternoon between the posts – again denying Prior.

Rocks were dealt a blow when Lewis Smith was substituted with injury on 27 minutes, but could have ended the first half ahead.

Still searching for his first league goal in East Thurrock colours, Tom Richardson headed narrowly over.

The first real chance of the second half brought the breakthrough. Alfie Rutherford did well to bring the ball back inside and hammered an unstoppable strike into the corner.

Sam Higgins headed into the arms of the keeper before Lee Burns was dismissed.

But the equaliser wasn’t to come.

East Thurrock United: Wright, Sammons, Sampayo, Allen, M. Ekpiteta, Agyemang (Burns 70’), Smith (Paxman 27’), Cornhill, Higgins, Richardson, Harris