FA Trophy East

Thurrock United................................ 3

Shortwood United...............................1

SHORTWOOD’S excellent run in the FA Trophy came to an end at Vanarama National League south outfit East Thurrock United on Saturday, writes Jim Cunneen.

Shortwood boss Des Meredith was rightly proud of the way his side performed.

He said: “The players gave everything and did exactly what we asked them to do. They can be proud of how they performed and if we can carry all we did today into the league programme in December the results will take care of themselves.”

A nightmare six-hour coach journey, with massive traffic delays was hardly the ideal preparation and the players had little time to prepare, but in spite of this made the brighter start.

After seven minutes a Joe White cross was met by the head of Tristan Haswell and Thurrock keeper Harry Wright did well to keep out the header and needed fast reactions to gather the ball before Haswell could knock home the rebound.

East Thurrock responded but George Burton made a fine save to keep out a deflected Richardson shot and Ryan Thwaite made a fine block to deny Higgins.

Burton made a tremendous double save to deny Higgins and Agyemang as Thurrock turned the screw but when Wood could break they continued to look dangerous and Jordan Morris ran tirelessly and Sam Taylor seemed to be everywhere. White was narrowly wide with a 20 yard strike but East Thurrock finished the half with Higgins heading over when it looked easier to score.

In the opening moments of the second-half Taylor’s pass to Morris was inches away from putting the striker in before Shortwood conceded a penalty for a tackle by Thwaite on Higgins and the Thurrock man shot home from the spot. Thurrock doubled the score after 54 minutes when Harris shot home from 18 yards.

Burton again made a good save to deny Harris and Jack Freeman, who had run himself into the ground, was replaced by Will Hawes. Ecpetita made it 3-0 after a fine run and shot but still Wood would not give up and finally in the last minute scored the goal they deserved.

Veteran Chris Burns played the ball into White and he was tripped as he turned. Hawes smashed the penalty past Wright to give Wood ome consolation.

SHORTWOOD: Burton, Meredith R, Thwaite, Prictor, Kibble (Burns C, 86), Taylor, Freeman (Hawes, 67), Haswell, White, Meredith L, Morris.

Star Man: George Burton.