The Non-League Football Paper - - FA TROPHY SECOND ROUND PROPER - By Neil Speight

EAST Thur­rock pro­duced a com­mit­ted and skil­ful dis­play to dump Na­tional League Ch­ester out of the Tro­phy and reach the last 16 for the first time.

Ch­ester flick­ered briefly in a bright open­ing five min­utes but then the Na­tional South side set­tled and took a grip on the game, par­tic­u­larly in mid­field where Max Corn­hill and Harry Phipps were su­perb.

Ch­ester keeper Sam Hornby was tested twice and pro­duced good stops but his de­fence was opened up by some classy pass­ing and on 17 min­utes a flow­ing move ended with Calvin Ekpiteta scram­bling the ball home from close in.

East Thur­rock had chances to ex­tend the led but took a sin­gle goal lead into the break and were grate­ful for a fine save from Lukas Li­dake­vi­cius in the open­ing min­utes of the sec­ond to stay ahead.

Ch­ester pressed hard but failed to cre­ate much and it was the Rocks who came clos­est to grab­bing the game’s sec­ond goal when Ryan Sam­mons crashed a shot against the bar.

Ch­ester’s best chance fell to James Jones on 76 min­utes but he headed wide and then Li­dake­vi­cius did well to save from Ross Han­nah who raced through.

Ch­ester sub Gary Roberts marked his de­but by get­ting sent off for a poor chal­lenge on Corn­hill and from then on the vis­it­ing ten men looked a beaten side as Rocks played out time. STAR MAN: Lee Burns (E.Thur­rock) EN­TER­TAIN­MENT: ★★★★★

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