We send a reporter down to qualifying clash.
The Rocks were taking on Chelmsford City for the right to face the U's in the First Round Proper and we sent Chris Roberts down to the game to report on what turned out to be a thrilling encounter with goals galore.
Whilst the U's were busy extending their winning streak under boss Joe Dunne, their upcoming FA Cup opponents were being decided down in East Thurrock.
After the first game finished all square on Saturday, both sides were determined to progress to the First Round where they will meet the U’s next weekend.
From the moment the whistle was blown for kick-off, an incredible 120 minutes unraveled in front of the home and large number of travelling City fans.
From that point on however it was all City, who squandered a number of chances before finally equalising on 25 minutes when Dagenham and Redbridge loanee, Rob Edmans pounced on the keeper’s spill to score low into the middle of the goal.
On the stroke of half time, Chelmsford could have made it two after glorious work by man on the match Antony Cook on the right wing who managed to use his pace and skill to beat a defender before producing a wonderful cross only for striker Craig Calver’s diving header to fly just wide of the goal.
And on 50 minutes, they were rewarded.
Cook was involved again as he beat an East Thurrock defender to the ball down the right and delivered a low in-swinging cross along the six yard box for Edmans to send the keeper the wrong way and convert for his second of the night.
But, with East Thurrock coming back into the game in the final 20 minutes they struck with a well deserved added time equaliser when, in the 94th minute, Sam Collins netted to the bottom right of the goal from 12 yards out after good play from the home side on the left.
Extra time brought yet more drama when East Thurrock turned the game on its head and took the lead in the 95th minute.
A missed clearance and slip from a Chelmsford defender sent the ball straight to Sam Higgins whose tame shot somehow managed to roll under the keeper and trickle into the net giving the Ryman Premier team a surprise lead and injection of confidence and belief.
With the game heading back and forth and each team enjoying a flurry of half chances, City remarkably took the lead in the 116th minute as Cornhill converted from a corner.
However, a late surge of energy from East Thurrock resulted in a ferocious attack, spewing corners, free-kicks and chances from all angles.
The home fans were finally repaid for their support at the death when in the 120th minute Kris Newby sweetly struck from the right of the area to make it 4-4 and send the game to penalties.
While Chelmsford City are below Colchester United in terms of divisions and league standings, the U's must be careful of the threat they possess through man of the match on the night, Anthony Cook.
Cook’s pace, trickery and all-round game were one that impressed and stood out for the away side. The winger dominated the right hand side of the pitch and caused the left back problems, something Michael Rose will be sure to take note of.
The striker’s movement was impressive and his awareness was on point throughout the game. The U’s will have to be careful of these potential game-changers and keep them at bay for the tie.
He is a tall presence, which means he's sure to be an aerial threat as he looms over other players.
Striker Robbie Edmans is also a player the U’s should focus on, his two goals were crucial to Chelmsford and they have him to partly thank for victory last night.
Although, Chelmsford posses these qualities, the defence looked nervous on occasions and were prone to making unnecessary mistakes when under fire.