First league win of the season and Hope springs eternal for Rocks but Tilbury suffer a heavy home defeat and Clark sees red

By Neil Speight

20th Sep 2022 | Football

Joy for Harry Hope and East Thurrock; a red card and disappointment for Alex Clark and Tilbury
Joy for Harry Hope and East Thurrock; a red card and disappointment for Alex Clark and Tilbury

THERE were conflicting results for borough's two Isthmian North sides in action this evening (Tuesday, 20 September).

Tilbury FC have now won just once in their last seven matches in all competitions.

Early season optimism that saw John Coventry's side pick up eight points in August is fading fast and tonight's 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Hullbridge Sports - who had lost their first four matches - will be massively disappointing.

Hullbridge's goals came from George Smith and Anisius Lewis in the first half and Lewis wrapped up the win his second on 77 minutes.

To compound a bad night, Dockers' Alex Clark was sent off with six minutes to go.

In contrast there were celebrations at Rookery Hill where East Thurrock United picked up a first league win of the season with a 1-0 win courtesy of Harry Hope's 63rd minute goal against Brentwood Town, much to the delight of the majority in a crowd of 252.

Town, one of the pre-season favourites for promotion, were on the back foot from the start as the Rocks were quick out of the blocks and busy from the kick off, never allowing the visitors to settle into any kind of rhythm.

The only surprise over the evening was that Rocks were only able to score one solitary goal, but what a special goal it was. Coming just after the hour mark, Brian Moses who always seemed to be in the thick of the action, played a deft back heel on the halfway line which took the visitors by surprise and sent Harry Hope away. Still with plenty of work to do Harry kept his composure, ran on leaving two defenders floundering before firing a delightful shot past Town keeper Louis Chadwick.

Early in the game, Moses almost scored himself as he closed down Chadwick, the keepers rushed clearance attempt rebounded off big Brian, but fortunately for Brentwood dropped just over the crossbar. Then Roman Michael-Percil, making his first start back in a Rocks shirt, scrambled the ball into the net, only to see celebrations cut short by a linesman's slowly raised flag for an offside earlier in the build up.

Harry Hope scores.

Rocks persevered with Chadwick pulling off a number of decent stops, and when he was finally beaten, Hope's drive grazed the outside of the upright.

The only fear amongst the home fans at half time was that having created so many first half openings and not converting any, Rocks might be made to pay in the second period.

However, Harrison's boys came out showing the same determined approach after the break, and the goal drew a huge cheer from the fans and settled any nerves.

A lot of hard graft by the Rocks boys meant that the visitors seldom threatened Montel Joseph's goal, with the big Trinidad & Tobago international left to deal comfortably with just the occasional Town incursion into his box.

All the chances late on fell to the home side, with Moses, Michael-Percil and skipper Oli Spooner all going close to increasing the lead.

So it stayed at just a single goal win, which was celebrated around the ground on the final whistle.

Tomorrow night (Wednesday, 21 September) Grays Athletic make a trip to Haringey Borough's ground in north London for a first ever meeting with league newcomers New Salamis who sit in seventh place, four places above Grays who could overhaul them with a win.


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