Fluke OG leaves goal-shy City empty-handed on travels again

A fluke own-goal late in the game was enough to condemn City to a second successive Saturday defeat in Essex at East Thurrock United this afternoon. There were just two minutes left on the clock when Joe Raynes’ attempted clearance struck Frankie Artus and looped back over Ryan Clarke into the net. Although the nature of the goal was desperately unlucky City had created enough chances prior to this to have made such misfortune immaterial. After a bright start to the game City were guilty of too many misplaced passes to keep the pressure on the home side during the first half. They were almost punished for this when the Rocks blazed over from a half-cleared corner late in the half before Ryan Brunt saw his header strike the bar and bounce to safety. Playing down the slope in the second half City took control of the game. Anthony Straker’s long range effort was tipped over by keeper Giddens and the Mann had a shot well blocked. Inbetween a rare break forward from the Rocks saw a shot drop just over the bar but it was City who continued to create the better openings. Ross Stearn sent one effort narrowly wide before slipping in John Mills only for his shot to fly the wrong side of the post. Andy Watkins then forced another smart save from Giddens and Mills missed a low cross from Stearn. Even after City gifted the hosts their goal they should have levelled only for Giddens to keep out Sean Rigg’s shot.