Ruthless Rocks topple Farnborough

Monday’s visitors sit comfortably in 2nd place though it might be that their experience last Saturday has dented their confidence a little.

Leading 2-0 away at Dulwich Hamlet with just 25 minutes left, they appeared to have the points in the bag, but inexplicably conceded twice in the 90th minute, one from a Penalty, to share the points with their hosts.

The Rocks kicked off and were soon to threaten, but Bufton was well positioned to gather from Walker at his near post.

The Boro’ keeper was soon in action again dealing with a low shot from Wraight.

The visitors were showing their skills to good effect and forced two corners in quick succession, then Lewis Smith cleverly switched feet and got a shot away which was marginally too high.

With almost 10 minutes gone Boro’ had their first decent chance when a Jenkinson free kick into the 6 yard box saw Vastsuk inches short of making contact.

Bufton continued to thwart the rampant Rocks saving well from distance only for the off-side flag to intervene as soon as the ball was played from the rebound.

Next, Bufton blocked well from Higgins who then blasted a second chance out of the ground and when Wraight sprung the off-side trap the keeper was quickly out to kick clear.

It was approaching the half hour before Boro’ caused the visitor’s defence any further problem when Charlie Allen was put through following a free kick and shot just wide.

Jenkinson then let fly from 25 yards and almost caught the Rocks keeper out as the ball bounced off his chest, but a defender scooped the ball away as Bogdan Vastsuk came in for it.

Barnes-Homer – playing the last game of his short spell – took the ball off a defender only for his shot to be deflected out for a corner.

CJ got a foot to a cross and almost directed the ball past Bufton, but the keeper was quick to react and drop on the ball.

With a couple of minutes to go to the interval the visitors were awarded an indirect free kick just outside the right corner of the area. With two players standing over the ball, Wraight shaped to take it but ran past it to the front edge of the area where the ball was rolled to him and fairly hammered into the far corner of Bufton’s goal on 44 minutes. Farnborough 0-1 East Thurrock United.

HALF TIME: Farnborough 0-1 East Thurrock United

Boro’ had defended stoutly for 43 minutes and even created a few chances on the break only to fall behind to a clever routine well executed.

The second half got away at 8:51pm and Boro’ started in a lively fashion creating a couple of good chances.

Bogdan shot narrowly wide before skipping neatly round a defender and crossing for Charlie Allen but his effort was cleared off the line.

Several Boro’ players were convinced the ball had in fact crossed the line. An opinion not shared by Mr O’Brien and his assistant..

Any hopes of a recovery were killed off in a five minute spell which saw the visitors put the game out of Boro’s reach with two further goals from set pieces.

First, Lewis Smith had a shot deflected out for a corner which went across the face of the goal and when returned into the 6 yard box Sam Higgins smashed the ball into the roof of the net from a couple of yards on 54 minutes. Farnborough 0-2 East Thurrock United.

Then from another corner, Joe Ellul scored, again from close in on 58 minutes. Farnborough 0-3 East Thurrock United.

A mis-directed clearance from Bufton went directly to a visiting forward and was quickly returned towards the goal but the keeper made amends with a good block.

Boro’ didn’t give up and following a free kick on the right Gallagher got in a shot which was scooped out for a corner by Lucas Lidakevicius in the Rocks goal.

Boro’ made a change on 68 minutes with Academy product,Harry Knight replacing Charlie Allen.

East Thurrock United replaced Ben Marlow with Conor Hogan on 70 minutes.

Minutes later the game took an unwanted turn when Lewis Smith took exception to a solid but fair challenge from Josh Gallagher near the far touchline.

The East Thurrock United player reacted by head-butting Gallagher in the midriff which in turn saw Gallagher wrestle Lewis to the ground. Both players were shown straight Red cards.

However, the matter didn’t end there and as the two players walked the width of the pitch to the dressing room they suddenly fired up again and were rolling about on the ground scrapping.

It was a while before the remaining players saw what was happening, but then they all converged on the scene together with the officials, and personnel from both benches. There must have been close to thirty people mostly attempting to keep opposing players apart as tempers were clearly running high.

Once the unseemly mess was sorted out it was interesting that the game restarted with a Boro’ free kick. This would appear to vindicate the original challenge by Gallagher.

The game had about 12 minutes of the 90 remaining and was virtually over as a spectacle and a good deal of time seemed to be taken up by both sides making further substitutions. Boro’ replaced Hallahan with Adeniji on 79 minutes.

In the 85th minutes, East Thurrock United made a double change replacing Walker and Knott with Newby and Ruel respectively and Boro’ brought on Zidyana in place of Vastsuk.

A Boro’ free kick on the left was cleared and set up a quick counter attack which Oyenuga did well to block out for a corner which led to another before Bufton claimed the ball and cleared.

Jenkinson went close near the end and during the 5 added minutes Newby had a header saved by Bufton.

FULL TIME: Farnborough 0-3 East Thurrock United

A disappointing result, but Boro’ were not shamed by their high flying opponents who were clearly well organised and the better side on the day.

However, it was disappointing that having stood firm for 44 minutes, all three goals came from set pieces and that the game will be remembered for the mass brawl in the second half.

Match Report by Tony Duff.


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