Late relief as Rhys shocks the Rocks
By HRBFC Press Team
Rhys Murrell-Williamson’s goal in stoppage time was the difference as the Beavers took the spoils against ten-man East Thurrock.
By Adam Le Roux
In a game of few chances, the major talking point of the game was a red card for The Rocks’ Danny Harris for a stamp on Jack Connors on the hour mark.
Hampton dominated possession before and after the sending off, but looked seemingly unable to break the deadlock, before substitute Murrell-Williamson took centre stage.
The game started slowly, with chances at a premium, the closest either side came was from Ronan Michael-Percil, who blazed over from 25 yards.
That was the catalyst the game needed, and just a minute later Zak Joseph dragged his shot wide when one on one with Rocks’ keeper Jack Giddens.
Giddens had to be on his toes again soon after, as Joseph played through Chris Dickson. With the Beavers’ top scorer bearing down on goal, the visiting stopper smothered him, with Joseph unable to capitalise on the follow up.
Although there was no goal scored, it was the first time the Beavers hadn’t conceded in the first twenty minutes of a game in their last six.
Dickson had another chance on the half hour mark after neat buildup play by Dani Uchechi and Jack Connors on the left. The frontman deftly flicked the ball round the defender but his left footed strike was collected by Giddens.
For all his great work in goal, Giddens rode his luck later in the half. Dickson beat him in a foot race to a ball by the corner flag, before crossing for Joseph, but he couldn’t sort out his feet to make the most of the opportunity.
It was clear that both sides were lacking in confidence, with neither team really settling. Pass after pass was going astray, as the two sides cancelled each other out for the majority of the first half.
All the Beavers had to show for their efforts before the break was a corner which caused pandemonium in the East Thurrock box. Giddens fumbled as he came to collect, with bodies flying in from the visitors to protect their clean sheet before they eventually cleared.
The pattern continued early into the second half, with no real flow to the game. Ricky Wellard forced an opening for himself, but Giddens once again came out to block.
The Rocks were looking good for getting only their second away point of the season, but they self combusted on the hour mark. As Jack Connors looked to break from an East Thurrock corner, Danny Harris pulled him down. Not content with that, the visitors number nine stamped on the Dover loanee, and was promptly given his marching orders.
From then on the visitors looked content with a point as the Beavers tried to capitalise on their man advantage. Dickson thought he had done exactly that after putting the ball in the back of the net with 20 minutes to go, but the flag was up for offside.
The tension was visibly mounting around the Beveree as the clock ticked down. Each repelled attack was met by a louder groan from terraces, as the Beavers couldn’t find a way through.
After the drama of the red card, referee Lee Brennan added six minutes at the end, with the game still goalless as the board went up. The pressure kept coming from the home side, but they couldn’t fashion a clear cut chance, corner after corner came in, as they searched for that elusive goal.
Gary McCann threw the strikers on the pitch to make the most of their dominance, and it was one of these, Rhys Murrell-Williamson, who proved the difference. The wideman cut in from the right, before unleashing a left-footed strike which looped over Geddins with the aid of a deflection.
The relief around the Beveree was clear to see, as the Beavers recorded their first league victory since September 15.
Match winner Rhys Murrell-Williamson was pleased with such a crucial victory. When talking to HRBFC Twitter he said,
“It's a big win, we’ve been on a difficult run of late, nothing has been going for us.
"When I came on I felt I was getting a lot of space, especially because they were down to ten men. For the goal I thought lets be positive, and it opened up for me.
“This win should be a big motivation for us to carry on, I don’t think we’ve been far off, it’s been 1-0s and silly mistakes so it should be good motivation for the team.”
Despite making hard work of the victory, Gary was relieved after the late drama, he said,
“We kept knocking on the door, we had chances in the first half that would have maybe made the task a bit easier if we were a bit more efficient and clinical.
“I’m so pleased to get the win, it’s been a longtime coming, it feels like a lifetime since we got our last one. Relief is the overriding emotion for sure.
"When they went down to ten it made our job harder, they sat in two banks of four and were difficult to break down. It’s something to build from, we need to make sure we take this into Tuesday, and look to see if we can build on an important three points."
Gary was also full of praise for new arrival Sam Cox, after his recent arrival from Wealdstone.
“He does exactly what you want your deep lying midfielder to do, he breaks play up, gives it, he’s a leader of men. He’s going to be a great addition to what we’ve got.”