EAST Thurrock United got 2020 underway by claiming a 2-1 derby win over Bowers & Pitsea.

Rocks made the trip to the Len Salmon Stadium with the hosts having won each of their last three Isthmian Premier League fixtures.

But goals from Darren Foxley and Frankie Merrifield ensured John Coventry’s side sealed all three points despite Quentin Monville’s late strike.

Bowers nearly got off to a dream start as Ade Osifuwa cut inside and saw his low cross diverted goalwards by Rocks defender Danny Cossington, but goalkeeper Jack Giddens got down well and stopped the visitors falling behind to an early own goal.

East Thurrock hit back with Amos Nasha forcing Bowers custodian Callum Chafer into a stunning fingertip save with a long range drive.

However, the away side were to break the deadlock with 27 minutes on the clock as Foxley’s precise finish looped over Chafer and into the back of the net.

Bowers would have levelled matters soon before the break were it not for an impressive stop from Giddens.

A deep cross found an unmarked Quentin Monville and the winger’s ferocious strike was kept out by the Rocks custodian.

But East Thurrock doubled their advantage on 70 minutes as Merrifield nodded a deep corner home from close range.

Merrifield then attempted an audacious overhead kick moments later, but Tom Hine put the former Canvey Island man under enough pressure to ensure he miscued his effort.

Rocks substitute Alex Clark forced Chafer into a diving save as the visitors looked to add some gloss to the scoreline.

Bowers halved the deficit as Monville’s strike deflected in, but it proved to be the last kick of the game as East Thurrock started the new year with a victory.