Fresh from their excellent 5-2 home success over Dulwich Hamlet last Saturday, United travel to Essex looking to secure back-to-back wins.
They will though, face stubborn resistance from an East Thurrock side that are fighting for their National League South status.
Who’s the boss?
Appointed back in 2007, experienced boss John Coventry is a renowned figure throughout the South East non-league football circuit, and has taken charge of over 600 games for The Rocks. After leading his team to the FA Cup First Round for the first time in their history in 2012, Coventry repeated the feat in 2014/15 before rounding off a glorious season with promotion to National League South via the play-offs.
How are they doing?
East Thurrock are currently in 21st place, with just 24 points from 31 games. Goalscoring has proved a real problem for Coventry’s men so far, with Sam Higgins leading the charts with a modest six league goals. Mirroring their points tally, The Rocks have hit the net 24 times from 31 games – only Gloucester City have managed fewer goals. Apart from shock home victories over promotion candidates Bath and Chelmsford, it has largely been a season of struggle, however their 0-0 draw at home to Hampton & Richmond on Saturday did at least mean they remain within six points of safety. Their recent 2-0 win at Eastbourne Borough also banished an unwanted statistic – It is, to date, their only away win this season.
Players to watch
Central defender Steve Sheehan is enjoying arguably his best season in years, having returned to the club in October following a spell with Isthmian North side Canvey Island. The 28 year-old was part of the Canvey side that reached the play-offs last term, and is playing in the second tier of non-league football for the first time. Rocks fans will be hoping that the recent addition of Sam Ashford from Witham solves their side’s barren form in front of goal, and the England C prospect has started well, with two goals in January.
The two sides have only met once before in league action, with two Ruairi Keating goals sealing a 2-0 win for the Gulls at Plainmoor back in August.
National League South | East Thurrock United | Rookery Hill SS17 9LB | 26/02/19 |
The Travel Club will be running a coach for supporters wishing to make the journey, further details can be found here