The Saints welcome East Thurrock United to Clarence Park on Good Friday for the penultimate home game of the regular season as the race for the play-off places reaches its climax.
City propelled themselves into the play-off picture with an impressive 3-0 win against fifth placed side Bath City six days ago. Clovis Kamdjo’s headed effort in the fifteenth minute gave Ian Allinson’s side the perfect start before two second half goals from Sam Merson and Ben Wyatt secured the result. However, it wasn’t all plain sailing for City and Dean Snedker and the defence in front of him had to withstand some significant pressure from the home side, particularly during the first forty-five minutes.
After the game the Saints boss expressed his delight with the result “It was the toughest game we’ve had in a long period. We couldn’t leave many holes and we had to be disciplined but sometimes you have to win ugly and we did so today” before adding “we got our reward for being so disciplined by scoring with pretty much our only three shots on target”.
Friday’s opponent’s have endured a difficult season and are currently sat in twenty-first place, two points above bottom side Weston-super-Mare and four points off of safety with only nine points left to play for.
The Rocks suffered a blow to their step two survival hopes last time out when they went down to a 3-2 defeat against Weston-super-Mare. Manager John Coventry saw his side take the lead at Rookery Hill through top scorer Sam Higgins before two goals of either side of the interval gave the Seagulls the lead, but with ten minutes left on the clock East Thurrock looked to have rescued a point when Ryan Scott struck. However, Weston won it 90 seconds later after Alex Bray turned in the box and rifled past Giddens.
East Thurrock United’s last league victory was at the end of March when they defeated Chippenham Town 2-1 on home soil and it was Higgins who was the hero, grabbing two second half strikes and the experienced forward will be one of the dangermen for the Saints to watch on Friday if they are to repeat the impressive defensive performance seen against Bath City.
Ian Allinson’s men go into this clash looking to do the double over the Rocks having defeated the Essex based outfit 4-2 back in September. For much of the game it looked as if the Saints would come away with nothing until Richard Sho-Silva levelled things up in the 88th minute before two goals in stoppage time from Sam Merson and Khale Da Costa secured an impressive comeback. You can watch the highlights of the game on YouTube.
David Moyo, who missed out against Bath City with a foot injury, may be in line for a return to the squad on Friday while midfielder Scott Shulton will be hoping that he can feature having been forced off against the Romans with a knee injury mid-way through the second half. Ben Herd could also play a part having missed the last three games with a knock.
Kick-off is 3pm.
End of Season Awards Voting will be taking place by the table adjacent to the York Road entrance to the ground.