East Thurrock United 1, Wealdstone 1
EAST Thurrock United looked set to surrender their unbeaten Vanarama National League South record with barely a whimper at the FutureFuel Stadium on a day it was announced manager John Coventry had won the division’s manager of the month award.
But in the end the doomsayers blaming the curse of the award were thwarted by Sam Higgins’ equaliser two minutes from time.
The Stones looked the more ambitious side through the opening stages and their endeavour was rewarded in the 13th minute when Matthew Whichelow was allowed time to turn on the edge of the box and he curled a low shot inside Lukas Lidakevicius’ post.
Chances at either end were few and far between, the most venous strike at goal being another shot from Whichelow which fizzed just wide. Just before the break Ciaron Brown will have thought he might have done better with a close range header that looped over the bar.
Rocks’ only significant opportunity of the first half also came came just before the interval but in the end Johnathan North dealt comfortably with Lewis Smith’s curling shot.
18 minutes into the second half the ever impressive Whichelow rounded Lidakevicius but astute defending by George Allen forced him wide and Rocks eventually cleared the danger.
East Thurrock had shown little in attack other than a few flurries, once of which saw Max Cornhill head across the face of goal, but they stuck at their task, kept in the game and with a minute left on the clock were awarded a free kick. Smith’s effort at goal was weak but somehow turned into what proved to be an effective pass to the feet of Higgins who turned and fired into the roof of the net.