It's not all Wraight for Beavers
Alan Dowson left 'frustrated' by fragile Beavers defending in defeat at Rookery Hill.
Dowse elected to keep the same starting lineup that had ultimately defeated Margate last week and despite a fairly even start, the Rocks took the lead on 11 minutes, taking advantage of a defensive error by right back Tom Jelley.
His mis-directed header allowed Beavers' nemesis Sam Higgins to collect the ball on the edge of the Hampton penalty area; drawing the remaining defence and keeper Sam Howes, Higgins' cut back from the bye-line found Reece Harris all alone in front of goal for the simplest of tap ins.
At times, it looked as if the Beavers were playing with 10 men, such was the way the Rocks were pulling the strings. On 26 minutes, Higgins chased down a long ball, slicing the defence in half with the movement. His attempt on goal beat the on-rushing Howes, but Jay Gasson was able to get back in time to hack the ball clear.
With 5 minutes to the interval, the Beavers gave up another free kick on the edge of the box and it took a diving Howes to prevent Wraight's shot from sneaking in at the near post. Hampton had barely had a chance on goal of note until just before the half time whistle when Rocks keeper Lidakevicius had to punch clear a Jelley free kick.
At the start of the second half, Hippolyte-Patrick was brought on in place of Alfie Pavey, giving the Beavers a 5 man midfield, leaving Duncan Culley in a lone striker role and immediately the Beavers looked more competitive.
With just 10 minutes played, the Beavers got back on terms.
Josh Casey produced one of those runs from midfield that shows his midfield process, and unchallenged as he reached the edge of the Rocks area, he struck a firm shot which was too good for Lidakevicius. Unfortunately, it struck the post, but for once, the luck was running the Beavers way and Duncan Culley was lurking in the box to tap it home.
The Beavers then started to show why they are in the top reaches of the table as they put pressure on the hosts. Almost immediately after Culley's goal, Lidakevicius had to be at full stretch to catch Casey's free kick as Hampton looked to turn the tables.
On 65 minutes, they so easily could have taken the lead as a penalty was award for a foul on Culley. Tom Jelley stepped up to take the kick, but Lidakevicius guessed right and was able to save the kick.
East Thurrock slowly weathered the storm and with 15 minutes left, they could have taken the lead as a combination of Howes and the cross bar denied Wraight from close range when it would have been easier to score.
With the prospect of sizeable added time looming, due to a long stoppage for an injury to Nathan Collier, Hampton knew that they just had to defend to at least get a point. On 88 minutes, though, they left the door open to Wraight who latched on to a through ball between defenders to slot home the Rocks second goal past Howes.
The 4th minutes of added time saw the Beavers trying to apply pressure and Brendan Kiernan nearly snatched the point as his shot beat the keeper but then hit the post. This meant that in the end, the Beavers had to taste the bitter pill of defeat for the first time in 2017, much to the management's frustration.
Speaking after the match, Dowse said "First half, it was men against boys, it really was, but the second half we were much much better."
"With just 3 clean sheets this season, everyone can see what our issue is and there's no wonder I'm frustrated with it. We should be defending much better than this."