NEIL Gray believes East Thurrock United were worth at least a point after they were dealt a last gasp blow against Woking in their season opener.

The Rocks assistant manager was leading the team in the absence of manager John Coventry, who was at captain and star striker Sam Higgins’ wedding on the day of their National League South opener.

It appeared as though East Thurrock were set to secure a goalless draw against one of the league’s favourites. However, a highly questionable penalty in injury-time saw the visitors take all three points - Max Kretzschmar on target.

And Gray said his team should have committed a foul in the run-up to the kick’s award.

“I am a long way away from it but I am more bothered about what happened 50 yards further up the pitch,” he said.

“We have an attacking corner and if we are sensible or professional we would give a foul away on the halfway line having lost possession.

“Is it a penalty? The lads are saying it’s cheap but it might be one that we would have wanted if it was on the other foot. The lad has got himself across our defender and collapsed like a deck of cards. It is just frustrating as the result doesn’t reflect what happened in the game.

“We bossed the first half and they didn’t get out of their half. We said at half-time that you don’t win games at 45 minutes and they went more direct after that and we were on the back foot.

“I maintain we deserved a draw out of it but that’s football.”

Goalkeeper Jack Giddens enjoyed a superb debut and made several fantastic saves with the game goalless.

Rocks are now gearing up for Wednesday’s match against Dulwich Hamlet.

And Gray has confidence Rocks can enjoy a good season.

“The save Gidds pulls off was unbelievable and the blocks on the line were also brilliant,” he said.

“I cannot fault them for their effort and the commitment to the cause was superb.

“We spoke about team spirit and although we lost the game I saw what I wanted to see. The effort and commitment was superb and we will be OK if we keep showing that in the weeks to come.”