Last minute agony for East Thurrock
TWO injury time goals denied East Thurrock three valuable points at Champion Hill.
In front of a crowd of 1607 they produced, especially in the second half, a display of consummate skill, tactical nous and commitment.
But it ain't over until it is over with two late goals and a sending off to steal a point for Hamlet.
Early on both teams looked to release the early ball as the game flowed fluently.
East Thurrock had played their last few games on difficult pitches so seemed to relish the smooth surface at the Hamlet.
Both teams were getting the ball into the area but were not really worrying the keeper.
And both teams were capable of turning attack into defence with unforced errors.
You also got the feeling of safety first as both teams, chasing promotion, did not want to make a mistake.
Hamlet were good at hunting in packs as they snuffed out attacks.
They had a series of corners close to the half hour point but did not really threaten.
However one did go close in the 34th minute when Waldren headed over from five yards.
But it was East Thurrock who opened the scoring when Sam Higgins pounced on a poor back header and cooly slotted it home.
This was a key time now for Hamlet as their large crowd had great expectations and were getting decidedly restless.
In the 41st minute Jarrett produced a wonderful run , as he passed Rocks players with ease. The Rocks defence were delighted to see the ball go out for a corner.
Rocks went on the front foot from the off in the second half with Tom Wraight blasting over from close range early on.
Ben Marlow really should have scored from close range as the pressure mounted.
More chances reined down in what felt like a pivotal moment for both teams.
Hamlet made double substitution as they attempted to get into the game.
Sure enough Scannell gave Hamlet their first whiff of a chance as he pounced on a ball but the keeper stuck out a leg.
East Thurrock got their second goal after another period of pressure. They earned a corner, the ball came back to Tom Wraight and he curled it around keeper Preston Edwards.
Hamlet had the ball in the back of the net but they had interfered with the keeper.
It looked like that it was it even when Nathan Clunis scored from close range in the 90th minute.
But in the last attack of the game, Rock's Sammy Knott tipped the ball onto the bar with his hand.
He was sent off and Ashley Carew banged home from the spot.
It was a remarkable end to a very good game.
Visit http://www.yourthurrock.com/Football-Rocks/story-28819660-detail/story.html for the interview with Covo.