Rooks hit the Rocks with defeat at bottom side East Thurrock

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KRIS NEWBY’S 90th minute penalty handed bottom of the table East Thurrock a shock 1-0 home win over promotion chasing Lewes last night (Tuesday).

The full-back stroked home his spot kick after Rooks defender Nic Ciardini was adjudged to have pushed Adam Knight in the box with a minute left of normal time.

Rooks manager Steve King was left furious with the decision, especially after feeling his side should have been awarded a first-half penalty when Rocks goalkeeper Richard Wray appeared to clatter midfielder Alex Stavronou just inside the area.

King said: “For me there’s isn’t a penalty, 89 minutes and it kills the game. If he’s given that then our penalty is a stonewall one in the first half where their player’s not even made contact with the ball, he’s punched him straight in the head. That’s a penalty, and yet they’ve got the penalty for the softest thing.”

The late penalty aside, it was a poor all-round performance from the visitors, who failed to hold on to posession for the entire 90 minutes and found their defence under periods of intense pressure, prompting an angry reaction from King after the game.

“But taking that (the penalty) aside we weren’t good enough tonight,” the Rooks boss said. “By us as a team that’s nowhere near the standard that I set this football club. It was appalling, our whole play, the way we defended, the way we attacked, in midfield, all of it was appalling.”

In a frantic 90 minutes Lewes also had their chances but looked unconvincing in front of goal, and East Thurrock nearly came close to scoring just before the penalty when Newby lashed an effort onto the underside of the crossbar.

Lewes’s best player on the night was Albert Jarrett, a former Brighton and Watford winger who is out of contract and has joined Lewes on a temporary basis, potentially until January.

“We’ve missed two absolute sitters in the first half, both from Albert Jarrett crosses. He’s put Draycott in at the near post and he should score, and the Boothy header, it’s six yards out and was nowhere near. That kills the game,” King added.