Late goal boosts Rocks' survival hopes and Grays are in upbeat mode after win

By Neil Speight

9th Apr 2022 | Football


Delight for Rocks at Bognor
Delight for Rocks at Bognor

TRAVELLING East Thurrock United celebrated their side's never-say-die attitude that keeps the Rocks' hopes of Isthmian Premier League survival alive after a draw at Bognor Regis today (Saturday, 9 April).

Just a couple of weeks ago Marc Harrison's team looked dead and buried but a remarkable run of three successive wins lifted spirits and the real prospect of a great escape

Today they travelled to Nyewood Lane, where for much of the day it seemed like fates would conspire against them.

Bognor took the lead on 23 minutes through Alfie Bridgman, an advantage the home side took into the closing moments of the match.

With the clock showing 90 minutes up, Rocks thought they had drawn level, only to see the effort controversially ruled out.

That might have been a crushing blow but Rocks responded and five minutes into added time The diminutive Ben Wyss, many supporters' choice for player of the season already, popped up with the equaliser that lifted his side outside the relegation danger zone!

Though Cray could lift themselves above Rocks tomorrow with a win against promotion-chasing Hornchurch Rocks now control their own survival destiny.

With three matches left, starting at home to Wingate & Finchley next Saturday, Rocks have a great chance of staying up - particularly as they have the chance to strike a direct blow when they travel to face Cray on Wednesday, 20 April. The season concludes with a home fixture against Horsham on Saturday, 23 April.

Meanwhile, with an avalanche of goals in the Isthmian North, there's all to play for fir two borough sides.

Despite the shock of a season's first home defeat last night leaders Aveley are still in the title-driving seat. That's despite second-placed Canvey Island smashing away the Millers' goal difference with a 13-0 win at relegated Romford today.

Third-placed Stowmarket also kept the pressure up with a 3-1 win at Witham but at the end of the day, with three matches left, Aveley have a two point lead over Canvey - and a four point lead over Stowmarket, who also have a match in hand.

The good news for Aveley is their next match, on Good Friday, is away to rubbing rags Romford so they have the chance to redress the goals difference situation!

Grays Athletic's hopes of securing a play-off place have been massively enhanced thanks to today's 1-0 win at Dereham Town, where Lewis Clark's 17th minute effort proved decisive.

With Maldon losing, Grays control their own destiny and though their three remaining matches at home to Brentwood and Maldon, plus a trip to Canvey, are challenging they will hope to make the play-offs.

Tilbury have no such hopes but will want to end the season strongly and today's 3-1 win at Bury Town was impressive.

Dockers went behind to Ollie Hughes' seventh minute goal but a penalty converted on 28 minutes by Charles Bampoe put them level. Bampoe's second on 72 minutes gave Tilbury the lead and Sam Jeremiah wrapped up the win a minute before time.

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