This was my first visit to Rookery Hill, in Corringham, Thurrock, the home of East Thurrock United of the Isthmian League North Division. This was the first ever Friday fixture at the Rookery Hill ground and East Thurrock played host to Hashtag United, who were only founded as a senior club back in 2018.
East Thurrock United sit in eighth place in the league, with thirty three points from twenty games and a +1 goal difference. Hashtag United came into the game in second place in the league, with 49 points from twenty games and a huge goal difference of +28.
East Thurrock’s top scorers coming into the fixture were Brian Moses with eleven goals and Harry Hope with six goals.
Hashtag United have seen some heavy goal scoring this season, with Alex Teniola top scoring with nine goals and Pedro Carvahlo and Max Cornhill, both with seven goals.
There was a huge crowd of 607 in attendance tonight. It took my friend and I quite some time to get into the ground, as the turnstile was cash only and the bar wouldn’t let us pay there on card. When we finally got in we found a ground with two grandstands and one which was closed down, as well as a couple of covered standing terraced areas. The ground boasts a refreshment stand and a clubhouse as well as floodlighting and a grass pitch.
The game kicked off with both sides testing the water as they tried to probe each other’s defences. East Thurrock United had height up front and used the long ball to test the Hashtag defence. Hashtag United played a more steady route to goal, focused on short, quick passing.
In 27th minute Hashtag United’s Toby Alomoloran broke free in the East Thurrock United penalty area before firing home to put the away side 0-1 up.
Just three minutes later, in the 30th minute, it was 0-2 when Thomas Anderson nodded home for Hashtag United, from a corner.
At half time the advantage remained at two goals to the away side. The home crowd seemed resigned to a defeat but the Rooks had created chances just before the break, to offer a glimmer of hope.
The second half opened with both sides pushing hard to open the scoring. East Thurrock United clearly weren’t giving up this early.
In the 74th minute, Max Cornhill followed up in the area, to make it 0-3, after an uncharacteristic fumble by Joseph, in the East Thurrock United goal.
There was just time for Hashtag United’s Greg Halford to convert a penalty in the 86th minute, after a rash challenge in the area by East Thurrock United’s McQueen, to make the final score 0-4 on the night.
Hashtag United left with all three points and spectators agreed that they had controlled this game from the start. East Thurrock United will have been heartened by the Friday night crowd, and little more.