Concord Rangers 2, Staines Town 1
CONCORD returned to winning ways despite failing to capitalise on their dominance against an underwhelming Staines side.
Ultimately Beachboys boss Danny Cowley will have been delighted to add three more points to his Skrill South survival pot – but his side put him through the wringer.
Dominant and 2-0 up through goals from Sam Collins and Tony Stokes with 15 minutes to go – the game should have been dead and buried. But the Swans pulled one back with a soft header from a corner from Dan Brown and then only a terrific late save from Jamie Butler denied them an undeserved equaliser.
Digesting the news of top scorer Sam Higgins' switch to local rivals East Thurrock earlier in the day, Concord got off to the perfect start when Higgins' former Rocks team-mate fired them into an 11th minute lead with a winder goal.
The industrious right winger hit a ball with his laces from 25 yards which swerved up and over the static Jack Turner on his line.
The Beachboys were in control for the rest of the half and should have doubled their advantage before the interval, but Collins' cross-cum-shot – which forced the back-peddling Turner to push the ball onto the bar – was as close as they came.
They did not have to wait long for their second after the restart though, as an at-times calamitous Swans rearguard failed to track Stokes from Collins' free-kick delivery and he headed a simple goal down and in.
Stokes then sent a curler wide and just failed to connect with the ball in front of an empty net, and Paul Goodacre had a header cleared off of the line, before Staines got an unlikely lifeline. It was almost a carbon copy of Stokes' goal as Dan Brown ghosted in to head home Bajram Pashaj's free-kick from the left.
Suddenly the hosts looked edgy, and only a terrific double save from Butler maintained their lead. The home keeper first parried Pashaj's low curler and then recovered to block Brown's close range follow up with his legs.
But the Beachboys held on to respond in the perfect way to Saturday's calamitous 2-0 home defeat to Bishop's Stortford in the perfect manner.