East Thurrock United 2-3 Whitehawk
Emirates FA Cup: Second Qualifying Round
The Hawks progressed to the Third Qualifying Round of the Emirates FA Cup after shocking National League South side East Thurrock United in a 3-2 victory at a wet Rookery Hill.
The Rocks started on the front foot but the Hawks struck first after 13 minutes with Lucas Rodrigues crossing into the box from the right to find Jason Williams, who powered the ball past a helpless Jack Giddens. Spurred on by this goal, the Hawks pressed for another courtesy of chances for Rodrigues, Williams and captain Henry Muggeridge, though it was the hosts who found an undeserved equaliser nine minutes before half-time through Roman Michael-Percil, who picked his spot well after reacting first to a knock down in the box. The Hawks could have retaken the lead on the stroke of half-time but Rodrigues smashed his attempt from a tight angle against the bar after being beautifully picked out by Ronayne Marsh-Brown.
The beginning of the second half was a lot quieter than the first with both sides only having half chances. On 60 minutes, after a well-played advantage by the referee, Rodrigues once more flew down the right-wing to find Muggeridge on the edge of the box, but his shot was blocked for a corner. That attempt not going in could have proven costly, as a two minutes later the Rocks took the lead after the Hawks failed to clear their lines. Substitute Freddy Moncur slotted home, to at last rouse the meagre home crowd.
Five minutes after that East Thurrock could have effectively ended the game, but Michael-Percil’s attempt was well saved by Melvin Minter. The visitors made them pay for that miss, as under 60 seconds later the scores were level again after some more great play by Rodrigues. He again skipped past his full-back and picked out Muggeridge on the edge of the six-yard box, who expertly flicked the ball past Giddens.
The Hawks dominated the rest of the match and it was no surprise when ten minutes after the equaliser the lead was restored. Once more the move began with Rodrigues breaking on the right and he did well to find Williams inside the penalty area. The ex-Southend man finished emphatically for what was the 26th goal in five meetings between the Hawks and the Rocks, with four of the games ending 3-2.
The Hawks rested many first team players for their Velocity Trophy tie at Bognor a few days previously, but manager Jude Macdonald’s decision was more than justified as his side looked fresh even as the game entered its final stages. The defence of Ronayne Marsh-Brown, Harry Shooman, Matt Drage and Fintan Walsh comfortably dealt with everything East Thurrock could throw at them, which was enough to see out a repeat of the FA Cup win for the Hawks on the same ground in 2016.
Rocks: Giddens, Miller, Stephen (Moncur 56′), Marlow, Scott, Burns, Simmons (Boswell 84′), Lee, Higgins, Batt (Derry 51′), Michael-Percil
Hawks: Minter, Walsh, R. Marsh-Brown, Emberson, Shooman, Drage, Rodrigues, Muggeridge (c), Williams (Mutongerwa 90′), Fraser (O’Neill 85′), Ky Marsh-Brown (Kw Marsh-Brown 90′)
Subs Not Used: Stilgoe (GK), Sisimayi, Broughton, Goode
Goals: Michael-Percil 36′, Moncur 62′ (East Thurrock); Williams 13′, 78′, Muggeridge 67′ (Whitehawk)
Yellow Cards: Miller, Marlow, Scott (East Thurrock); Fraser, Ky Marsh-Brown (Whitehawk)
Man of the Match: Lucas Rodrigues (Whitehawk)
|Ky Marsh-Brown||Yellow Card|
|James Fraser||Yellow Card|