Staines Town 1, Billericay 2
A LATE goal from Billericay captain Rob Swaine gave them their first away win of the campaign in an event-filled afternoon at Staines Town.
Swaine headed home a scruffy goal from a Glenn Poole with three minutes to go to make it back-to-back wins for Town, following their 4-0 demolition of Eastleigh last weekend.
It was a battling win on a day when Town did not play their best, and in a game they finished with 10 men following Nathan Green’s late dismissal.
Alex Osborn, who came into the side for the injured Marc Charles-Smith, had given Town the lead five minutes before the break when he controlled a ball over the top and picked his corner to claim his first goal for the club.
But the teams went in all square at the break after David Wheeler scored in stoppage time with neat finish from the edge of the box following some good approach play.
There was a lengthy stoppage in the second half when Staines’ Sam Bates was badly hurt following an accidental collision involving own keeper and other players challenging for a cross into the Staines’ penalty box.
The defender was stretchered from the pitch to receive further treatment and left the ground in an ambulance.
And, after Swaine had nodded the winner, Billericay’s afternoon ended on a sour note when Green, who’d been booked in the first half for a foul, was shown his second yellow deep in injury time for kicking the ball away after the award of a free-kick. Billericay: Oates, Anderson, I’Anson (Luke), Swaine, Wild, Lechmere (Edwards), Poole, Osborn (Hutchinson), Green, Reynolds.
Echo MOM: Dale Brightly (Billericay).
Met Police 2, Canvey 1
CANVEY were made to pay for not dealing with crosses into the box as they surrendered a half-time lead in a 2-1 defeat at Met Police.
The Gulls were the better side in the first half and took a 5th minute lead when Jay Curran headed home Ryan Edgar’s flick-on from Harrison Chatting’s corner.
Home keeper Jamie Butler was forced to turn Curran’s shot around the post on 33 minutes, and then the returning Rickie Hayles headed another Chatting corner just wide.
The Police finished the half well, though, and gave a sign of what was to come after the restart when Canvey right back Ashley Miller was forced to clear Jonty’s Smith’s effort off the line in injury-time.
But they did not have to wait long for their leveller after the break when Steve Sutherland headed home an equaliser.
Sutherland began to menace the Canvey backline and headed home what would prove to be their winner with 20 minutes to go.
Canvey responded well and Curran had a header tipped over, before Bradley Woods-Garness – who returned to the starting line-up after a spell away on international duty – had a shot deflected wide by Jay Lovett.
And in the third minute of injury-time only the woodwork denied Steve Tilson ’s side a point they deserved when Chatting’s shot hit the post and spun out for a goal kick.
Canvey: Jones, Miller, Dumas. Blackwell (Hawes 70), Hayles, Orlu, Gordon (Mason 60), Edgar, Woods-Garness (Heale 89), Curran, Chatting.
Echo MOM: Harrison Chatting (Canvey).
East Thurrock 2, Hendon 0
MATT ABBOTT at Rookery Hill
HAKEEM Araba scored on his debut to set East Thurrock on the way to their first league win of the season.
The big centre forward terrorized the Hendon defence, scoring a first half opener after completing a return to the club from Bromley on Friday.
It was Araba’s strike partner Sam Higgins who wrapped up the win for Rocks, scoring mid-way through the second half.
A toothless Hendon never really settled into the game as Rocks skipper Reiss Gilbey cropped up everywhere, giving the Hendon midfield and defence no time on the ball. But an accomplished performance meant the Rocks faithful were able to celebrate their first league win of the season.
The game might have been different had Hendon taken their best chance of the game, which fell to Greg Ngoyi four minutes in.
He seemed surprised when Casey Maclaren’s low cross from the right ended up at his feet, but he still managed to prod a shot goal wards. Richard Wray blocked it superbly with a sharp reflex save down to his right.
After that, Rocks took control of the game but seemed to lack a creative edge, although they dominated possession.
Eventually, chances came for Rocks and it was Araba - Bromley’s top scorer last year - who rose at the near post to glance in Tom Stephen’s superb cross from the left after 32 minutes. That was the first time East Thurrock have scored in the first half at home in the league this season.
Following the opener, John Coventry’s men might have had a hat-full before the half time whistle went. Kye Ruel missed the best of those chances four minutes before the break, shooting straight at Hendon stopper Bekley Laurencin after Higgins had knocked down Kris Newby’s free kick.
Higgins himself went close moments earlier with a rasping 25-yard free-kick that was pushed over by Laurencin.
After half-time, the hosts set about sealing the win. The game grew scrappy, with a few late challenges and the odd squabble between players. Hendon, and former Thurrock man Dean Cracknell in particular, were getting frustrated at being denied time on the ball by the Rocks midfield.
But in an otherwise uneventful half, Higgins got the goal his efforts in the forward areas deserved. Simon Peddie launched a long ball forward from the back which Higgins took under control before seeing his first effort parried by Laurencin. He pounced on the rebound to make it 2-0.
The win moves Rocks up to 11th in the Ryman Premier and sees them maintain an unbeaten record at home. They’ve lost just one in all competitions.
Hendon conjured few chances in the match, which was largely down to a fantastic pressing, defensive display.
East Thurrock: Wray; Sammons, Peddie, Sheehan, Stephen; Newby, Gilbey, Parmenter, Ruel; Higgins, Araba.
Echo MOM: Reiss Gilbey (East Thurrock).