EAST Thurrock United’s hopes of avoiding the drop suffered a heavy blow as Rocks were condemned to a 3-2 defeat by Weston-super-Mare.

Although Sam Higgins put John Coventry’s side ahead, goals from Marlon Jackson and Tom Llewellyn allowed the visitors to turn the game on its head.

Ryan Scott levelled matters for the hosts, but Alex Bray scored a late winner for the National League South’s bottom side at Rookery Hill.

East Thurrock should have broken the deadlock inside four minutes as Alex Osborn’s dangerous cross into the penalty area caused confusion, but Rickie Hayles was unable to stab the ball home from close range.

Luke Purnell made a comfortable save to deny central defender Steve Sheehan soon after as Rocks made an encouraging start to the encounter.

Weston responded with Jackson heading over after the hosts had struggled to clear a corner.

East Thurrock goalkeeper Jack Giddens rushed off his line as Llewelyn sent an attempted lob over the crossbar after an error from Ibrahim Sori-Diallo.

Llewellyn continued to cause problems for the home side’s defence and would have given the division’s bottom side a 14th minute lead were it not for a superb block from Lee Burns, while Giddens was equal to a long range strike from George Nurse.

Ryan Scott came close to claiming the opener as he diverted an Osborn corner inches over the crossbar.

But East Thurrock took the lead moments later as Higgins beat the onrushing Purnell to a pass over the top and calmly slotted the ball into the empty net with 19 minutes on the clock.

A close range Llewellyn header clattered against the crossbar after a mistake from Giddens presented Weston with a golden opportunity to get back on level terms soon before the break.

But Weston were to equalise before the interval as Jackson unleashed a thunderbolt from 25 yards out which found the top corner and gave Giddens absolutely no chance.

Llewellyn came close to giving the away side the lead with the first attack after the resumption, but the striker’s effort squirmed behind.

Purnell did well to hold onto a drilled free-kick from Higgins after Danny Harris had been brought down on the edge of the Weston penalty area.

Harris saw his goalbound effort cleared off the line by Tom Harrison after Purnell had fumbled a deep cross from Sori-Diallo while under pressure from Higgins.

Osborn was the next Rocks man to try his luck, but the winger’s shot on the turn flew over the crossbar.

A counter-attack involving Harris and Higgins resulted in the ball being worked to Amos Nasha, but the Chelmsford City loanee’s long range strike crashed against the crossbar.

Weston frontman Jackson came close to doubling his tally for the afternoon as his effort was well saved by Giddens.

However, Weston were to turn the game on its head as Llewellyn finished off a fine counter attack with 18 minutes remaining.

But the visitors’ lead lasted just eight minutes as Scott’s close range effort deflected into the top corner after Osborn had been denied by a goal-line clearance.

However, Weston retook the lead within two minutes as Bray found the bottom corner of the net.

East Thurrock finished the afternoon with 10 men as substitute Reece Prestedge caught Jacob Cane with a stray arm in injury time and Rocks could not find a leveller.

East Thurrock United: Giddens, Burns, Sori-Diallo, Nasha, Scott, Sheehan, Lee (Dodson 86), Hayles, Higgins, Osborn, Harris (Prestedge 67)