East Thurrock United 2-1 Witham Town

From Rookery Hill

Ryman Premier League


SAM Higgins took his season’s tally to 41 goals to help East Thurrock United defeat north Essex rivals Witham Town and keep their play-off ambitions on track.

Rocks made it seven points from nine ahead of a run of five games against the sides in direct competition for a top five space.

In difficult conditions, both sides struggled in the early stages with the first real chance coming on the half hour mark.

Lewis Smith had the effort but Witham goalkeeper Martyn Guest easily held his powerful strike.

Rocks were doing more of the probing, and Max Cornhill came close next.

Mitchell Gilbey, fresh from two strikes against Dulwich Hamlet last time out, chipped into Cornhill at the far post, although Lawrence Yiga denied them on the goal line.

But despite the pressure from the home team, it was the visitors that opened the scoring.

With six minutes of the half remaining, Tom Wraight sent a cross to the far post that was squared for Lewis Godbold to head past David Hughes.

But John Coventry’s side weren’t giving up there, and they brought parity at half-time.

Captain Tom Stephen sent across a delightful ball from the left and Higgins sent his header past Guest into the bottom corner.

Into the second-half, Rocks were the team making the front running. Firstly, Cornhill headed over from 10 yards before Nicky Symons sent a superb effort from inside his own-half towards goal but Guest, who was off his line, was able to scramble back and tip the ball over.

But the goal did come and it was that man Higgins who got it.

With 13 minutes remaining, Smith was brought down inside the penalty area and Higgins stepped up to convert, having missed from the spot in the reverse fixture.

Paul White was sent-off in the closing stages for Witham and it was too little too late for the away side.


East Thurrock United: Hughes, Sammons, Wood, Goodacre, Stephen, Cornhill, Parmenter (Bryant) (Ruel), Gilbey (Brown), Symons, Smith, Higgins